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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Mehran

Subterranea

Review by Gary Hill

Flamenco guitar is merged with fusion and more general world music along with some space rock and progressive rock to create a powerful and unique sound. This is quite a potent set that’s likely to stand out from the music most listeners have heard previously. It’s quite a strong release.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2012  Volume 6 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Subterranea

Atmospheric musical elements build in a rather space rock way before the acoustic guitar joins and starts bringing melody lines to the table. That guitar has a great tone and works through some intriguing lines of music as it continues. It becomes quite powerful and inspired and there really seems to be a lot of passion built into this piece. There are some bits of world music interspersed here and it’s a great piece of music and an excellent way to start the set in style.

Into the Abyss
While the world music elements are still here, some more of that dramatic proggy sound is heard and there is also some fusion and classical in the mix. The thing is, it all merges into a powerful tune that’s even more of a rocker than the opener. Yet, there is also a sense of mystery to this one that wasn’t present there. There’s a tasty keyboard solo in the tune and a bit of a spoken section near the end.
Parvaz

Starting mellow, there are some great fusion elements in play here as this gradually moves forward. Flamenco stylings bring a lot of oomph along with world music textures as this thing continues. Later the pieces turns more towards pure fusion but world vocals lend more of that ethnic sound to the number.

Sunshower

Here we have a mellow kind of groove that has plenty of progressive rock and fusion in its mix. It’s another great piece of music.

Breathe
This is more pure melodic progressive rock. There are some great musical textures built into this cut and it has a cool groove.
Reflections

The flamenco guitar opens this. It moves out in different directions, but that acoustic guitar remains the only instrumentation. This is a pretty and powerful piece of music, perhaps made even more so by the more stripped back arrangement.

Natalia

At less than four minutes in length, this is on the short side for this album. It’s rather slow and merges fusion with the world music sounds the flamenco guitar brings to the plate.

Desert Moon

Piano starts this off and prog and fusion merge as some spoken sound bites come across the backdrop. That drops away and the acoustic guitar rises up to drive it. Then other instruments join and the cut moves onward from there. It works through a number of changes as it combines progressive rock, fusion and world music. It drops back later to a mellow segment that’s driven by the acoustic guitar over the top of world percussion. Then it works out to more pure fusion from there.

Moonlight Sonata

I’ve always been totally in love with this Beethoven piece. Hearing it delivered here on acoustic guitar, instead of the traditional piano, it’s somehow even more powerful. It has all the magic and beauty of the piece and it feels even more emotive for some reason. This is an incredible way to end the set in style and yet it’s just acoustic guitar with no other accompaniment. And, the interesting thing, as powerful as this is, it’s just a bonus track.

 
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