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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Demetra Sine Die

A Quiet Land of Fear

Review by Gary Hill

In a lot of ways this calls to mind a proggier Tool. Still, other things are here, too. There’s psychedelia and shoegaze. Even Hawkwind like space rock can be heard at times. Even jazz and metal are on display at points. All those seemingly disconnected sounds are woven into a tapestry that somehow really works well. This is a great album and one that I enjoy a lot.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2013  Volume 2 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Red Sky of Sorrow

Atmosphere with a spoken female voice opens this. Textural music brings it upward as the spoken voice gets louder. Eventually dark psychedelic atmosphere takes over and the sung vocals come over the top in an arrangement that’s creepy and crazy cool. After the two and a half minute mark this gets some metal added to the mix, in terms of the powered up rhythm section. It retains a progressive rock vibe even in this harder rocking section, though. Additionally, it drops down for a dark atmospheric treatment. They do power it back out into the metallic sounds, but this is really metallic prog rather than heavy metal. Think of it as a more proggy Tool.

Black Swan
The rhythm section starts this in style. Layers of atmospheric sound are added over the top and the cut works out from there. Moody and very cool, this has sections of harder rocking sound, but is more or less fairly sedate in its run. Comparisons to Tool would again be valid. There is a heavier, faster section later. It drops down to a melodic yet more atmospheric segment at the end.
A Quiet Land of Fear

The title track pounds out super heavy and super moody. It drops after a time to a more stripped back arrangement to continue. Even then, though, the rhythm section really drives it. As the vocals join it gets a metal meets psychedelic and shoegaze texture. This is quite a diverse cut. At times it’s very textural space music. At other points it’s shoegaze meets psychedelic. Still, it rocks out like crazy at times.

0 Kilometers to Nothing
This comes out of the atmosphere that ended the previous tune. The bass guitar brings some Middle Eastern tones and it really feels a lot like Hawkwind. That, with some variants, carries the piece for a while. Then the drums really drive this as a voice speaks the lyrics in an echoey, distant way. Later there are some vocals that are more sung. This is a weird piece. It’s also incredibly cool. Around the four and a half minute it turns more towards stoner metal for a short time.
Ancestral Silence
This short (by contrast as it’s less than two and a half minutes in length) instrumental is feedback laden and atmospheric.
Silent Sun
Psychedelia, space rock, shoegaze and stoner metal all combine on this cool track. There are some great moments and it’s more understated than it is “in your face.” This might be my favorite piece on the whole disc.
Distances

This is another slab of the same kind of music we’ve heard thus far. Still, there are differences. For one thing, some of the layers of sound almost feel like jazz or more traditional progressive rock. This thing really works through a lot of changes and variations. It rocks out like crazy, but is also so tastefully dark and atmospheric.

Inanis

Feeling robotic, this is a strange piece of atmosphere. I keep expecting the Cybermen to show up on it.

That Day I Will Disappear into the Sun

Crunch guitar leads out here and we’re on our way. This is a great piece of music that really sums up the different sides of this group well. At times it is more metallic. At other points it leans more towards dramatic atmosphere. It’s a great piece of music and excellent choice to end the CD.

 
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