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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Antonius Rex

Hystero Demonopathy

Review by G. W. Hill

This is a really unusual album. It’s kind of like soundtrack music. It’s very classical in nature. It’s also tied to European epic metal, but without the metal crunch. It’s theatrical. It’s dramatic. It’s powerful. The end, it’s a strong album that’s not for everyone. For lack of any closer definition, it’s also progressive rock.

Track by Track Review
Hystero Demonopathy

The sounds of wind open this and then an ominous, menacing kind of electronic symphonic sound takes. A metallic pounding rises up as this plods forward. Then it seems to end. Organ sounds continue out from there. In a very classical styled arrangement, but with more prog metal instrumentation this moves forward. It’s dark and menacing, but also quite pretty. It’s hard to get a real grasp on the musical concept because it keeps shifting and changing.

Suicide Goth
The first couple minutes of this feel more like a movie soundtrack, complete with some spoken (processed parts). It works out from there to some great symphonic rock, the first real “song” type structure of the disc. This is sort of like a more symphonic, but also almost epic metal oriented, version of Enigma. More bits of that movie type stuff are interspersed along this ride. There is a cool dramatic and rather theatrical movement later in the piece.
Are Mine

More of that rather theatrical symphonic prog opens this cut. It turns towards some serious heavy metal as it pounds out into the song proper. Still, there is a lot of great theatrical stuff built into this cool piece of music.

Disincantation

Mellow, keyboard-based music serves as the backdrop for a spoken word bit that I think might be in Latin. There’s a false ending around the minute and a half mark. Then piano rises up to move the piece forward. It still works through some intriguing changes and there’s some killer bluesy melodic guitar jamming later in the piece. After that ends there’s an unaccompanied spoken vocal bit. Then a new symphonic prog melody rises up as the cut continues. Eventually that section takes it to its close.

Demonic Hysteria
More theatrical elements along with some rather classically tinged music starts this off. Dramatic music builds out after some suitably demonic sounding theatrical elements. Keyboards drive this new movement. This is another that’s hard to pin down, but there are some great musical moments. There’s a section later in the piece that includes both some retro keyboard sounds and some smoking guitar soloing. Both of those items call up echoes of Pink Floyd. There’s a considerably classically oriented keyboard section later in the track. That segment takes it to its closing.
The Devils Nightmare

Wind again starts things here. Then music that feels like metal opens this. It gets quite symphonic before a spoken clip recites the title. Then they turn it more towards progressive rock. There are some killer passages as this thing works through. Keyboards are a big part of the arrangement. At times it leans toward fusion. That spoken clip shows up later and then we get a guitar dominated movement that has some smoking hot rock guitar soloing. Keyboards take a more prominent role again at the close.

Witches

As this starts one thinks of the ocean. It builds out though with something like white noise, or at times it feels almost like a swarm of massive insects. Then very symphonic, but also electronic, elements bring the first melody. Then pretty and quite intricate acoustic guitar takes over before those two sounds are eventually merged. The vocals here are the most “song” like of the set, but this is still very much musical theater. The more theatrical, pounding section with repeated calls of the title at the end is great.

The Fatal Letter

With more spoken vocals and bits of mellow music in the middle of it, this reminds me a lot of the band Halloween.  Around the three and a half minute mark it powers out to some more mainstream progressive rock, tentatively at first. As it gets more developed the comparisons to Enigma again apply at times. There is some particularly tasty keyboard soloing later with a real jazz touch.

Possaction

The movie-like vocal bit that starts this is down-right creepy. A martial beat serves as the background for more theatrical bits of vocals, including some tortured cries. Keyboard sounds come gradually over the top and then drive the piece towards a more full prog arrangement. It turns back towards the theatric and is really weird. It’s also quite cool and an interesting way to end the album.

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