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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

The Road

Monomyth

Review by Mark Johnson

This New York/Boston based band has written an epic story set to music involving a protagonist, Virgil, and his journey to rediscover his purpose in life. The two big questions the band pose are, “Is there one monomythical journey we all must take to discover our purpose in life?’ and  “Do we find the answers through that journey?”

Maybe they meant for this to be a modern Lamb Lies Down on Broadway interpretation. It is filled with some prog and jazz effects, but few of the out-of-body experiences and musical experimentation we associate with the Genesis classic.

This review was originally published at Sea of Tranquility (seaoftranquility.org) and this review has been adapted from that one.

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
Introduction

“Introduction" is a narrated explanation of the story that is about to unfold.

Interlude I: Introspection
This begins with air raid sirens and bombs, followed shortly by horns, electric guitars strumming, and pounding drums as the scenes of war in Onager surrounds the protagonist Virgil. It has been especially poignant watching events unfold in Egypt lately. The vocals and lyrics capture the feelings and emotions of all of the questions surrounding the reasons for war. The guitar chords and heavy bass help to create the dramatic and violent soundscape surrounding a war torn city.
Between
"Between" opens with a narrative of Virgil expounding on why he left his love Laura. Guitars, bass, trumpets and drums help add flavor to the pop/jazz like mix.
The Price
This opens with nice acoustic guitar and quiet trumpet. Then the acoustic strumming begins, making this one of the best songs on the album. The vocals lay out the story well. The trumpet solo adds a jazzy feel to the sound.
Interlude II: Wandering to Some Purpose
Here they bring a cool noise effect as acoustic guitars play in the background and the narration begins.
Diminished
"Diminished" is an eerie, bleak sounding, electric guitar filled piece with drums supporting and Virgil trying to focus through all the turmoil.
Interlude III: Thinking Aloud for None to Hear (Including Bullets and Top of the Stairs)
This is a narration about the war set to background acoustic guitar and effects. The strumming acoustic work here is some of the best on the album.
Charity
"Charity" opens up with keys and electric guitars as the vocals begin to tell the story from the wounded protagonist's perspective. The guitar solos work well to weave the feeling of conflict in the story.
Interlude IV: Descent
Here is another narrative to open the final section of the album.
Inferno
"Inferno" is a descent into darkness and the music follows suit. The vocals are excited and fearful. The loud electric guitars, drums, trumpets, and keys create a dark world soundscape.
Inferno V: Ascent
“Inferno V: Ascent" is a narrative from Virgil, who once again is revealed his purpose in life and is returned back to the streets of Onager.
Second Chance
This is a return to the surface of Onager full of guitars, vocals, and drums.
Interlude VI: Arriving
Here is another narrative description of the story.
Mecca
Appropriately, "Mecca" has a Middle Eastern sound to the opening. The vocals and music blend well to give you the feeling of being amidst the throngs of worshipers who attend this yearly journey. The wild guitar solos that reach for the climax are some of the best on the album.
 
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