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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Case in Theory

Cinematic

Review by Gary Hill

At times this feels more like nu-metal, but more often than not it’s kind of a modern progressive rock. This is an intriguing album with a lot of great music. It should please fans of newer progressive rock, but should also be able to break beyond that specific genre.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2012  Volume 2 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Mavericks

There are some non-lyrical vocals on this, but overall it’s like a dramatic and powerful slow moving instrumental.

The Night
This has a real modern metal sound. It’s kind of like a cross between something like Tool and an almost emo sound. This is good, but not really earth shattering. It has both a hard rocking section and a mellower one.
The Day
The musical motifs that open this are almost progressive rock in nature. The track builds out gradually from there. This doesn’t rise towards the level of metal, but rather has a mellow but bouncy musical sound that’s close to modern progressive rock. It’s got a healthy dosage of alternative rock in the mix, too.
Run Like Hell
Bouncy and fun, this is a quirky tune that works quite well. It’s also got some modern prog in the mix. It’s one of the most dynamic and interesting songs on the disc.
National Ave.
There’s a good chunk of alternative rock and other sounds here, but overall this is a modern progressive rock tune. It’s dramatic, dynamic and powerful. It’s also very cool.
Cinematic
The title track is mellow and atmospheric. It works through a number of changes and alterations and really shows that a creative aesthetic and powerful vibe can be had with a modern version of alternative rock turned prog.
Mavericks III
Textural and atmospheric sounds are woven across a rhythmic backdrop as this builds in a killer way. This is another instrumental.
Righteous Path
Alternating between mellower motifs and harder rocking ones, the vocal performance on this is powerful and wonderful. This is quite an adventure and arguably the best track of the whole album.
The Fall Of Golden Gate
There’s almost a mysterious texture here. It’s got a cool riff that is both played on guitar and sung. This is a harder rocking number that’s closer to alternative rock, but there are some great twists and melodies here. This is quite cool. There’s an interesting instrumental section later that seems to combine modern prog with fusion and even some jam band music. It doesn’t last long, but it’s cool.
With Open Eyes
Here is another with a powerful vocal performance. The arrangement and progression on this is great. It’s another highlight of the set. I love this tune.
Mavericks IV
Starting with mellow motifs, this instrumental builds in a casual and nice way. It’s a satisfying conclusion to the set, but it begs the question, what happened to “Mavericks II.”
 
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