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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Druckfarben

Druckfarben

Review by Gary Hill

This is quite an intriguing set of music. At times it sits quite close to fusion. Other points in the set, though, feel like classic progressive rock acts. Expect to hear things that call to mind Genesis, ELP, King Crimson, UK and others in this album, sometimes in the same song. There are even bits of world music here and there. Whatever the particular leanings of each tune, though, this is an exceptionally strong release.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2012  Volume 4 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Elpo

Well, the title of this instrumental introduction seems to give it away. It’s a bombastic jam that’s got a lot of Emerson Lake and Palmer built into it. Still, there’s also some serious fusion and some scorching guitar soloing is heard.

Influenza

While fusion is certainly still present, this cut feels a lot like Yes. That comparison fits right down to the vocals. It’s got a lot of changes and alterations, though, and the keyboards have an awesome retro sound.

Smaller Wooden Frog

Careening this way and that, the killer extended instrumental introduction still has a lot of fusion built into it. At times ELP is a valid reference, but UK and King Crimson also work. The vocal section though has both Yes and ELP built into it. There’s a mid-track movement that’s even more Yes-like but it leads to more of the jamming that started the track off. That section takes it out.

Dead Play Awake

There’s some smoking hot progressive rock in this that feels at times influenced by world music. Still, Kansas is certainly worth mentioning here. Yes comes to mind again, too. All in all, it’s great retro styled progressive rock.  A short keyboard solo later gives way to a fusion jam. A return to Yes-like territory takes it to the close.

Walk Away

A shorter cut, this one has a real AOR meets progressive rock approach. Kansas comes to mind, but that’s only one part of the sound. If there’s a song to be pushed to radio, this should be it. It’s quite an accessible and powerful tune that works really well.

Seems So Real

Yes is the biggest reference here. In fact, this one feels so much like the first Rick Wakeman era of that band that it’s crazy.

Nat Nayah

While the dramatic instrumental section mid-track brings something closer to ELP meets Genesis and move into fusion territory, the vocal sections of this track are amazingly close to Yes.

Sons of Anakim

While Yes does feature as an influence here, this is mostly a fusion piece. It’s a killer and one of the strongest of the set.

Nonchalant

World music is merged with mellow progressive rock on this balladic piece. Early Genesis seems to be an influence at times and so is Kansas, but klezmer music also comes into play as a reference.

 
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