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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

PropheXy

Improvviso

Review by Gary Hill

I like this disc quite a bit. It really has a lot of different progressive rock styles represented – sometimes even in one song. There is a lot of traditional Italian prog here, but there are plenty of more mainstream sounds, too. It even works to some almost metallic moments, as well.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2013  Volume 4 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Tritone

Retro keyboard sounds start things here. Then it turns towards something rather like mid-period 1970s King Crimson. This is kind of crazed and a little weird. It’s also quite compelling. It drops to mellower weirdness for an organic and acoustic based jam from there. As the vocals join, it reminds me a lot of early Genesis. It takes on more of an Italian prog leaning as it continues, mostly delivered through the vocals. Eventually the piece powers out to harder rocking prog, at times feeling a bit like Nektar. It’s quite dynamic, though, shifting this way and that. There’s a killer melodic prog groove later with some great vocal stylings.

Babba
As a flute based jam opens this, I’m reminded a bit of Jethro Tull. There are some moments early on, though, that also make me think of Magma. Eventually it fires out to some crunchier progressive rock that’s quite cool. Eventually it works out to something that combines prog with world music. Then they fire it out into some killer (although a bit strange) jamming from there. They turn this towards some extreme metal, with the appropriate vocals, for a time. Then it drops back to mellow acoustic based music. Eventually more of a typical Italian prog sound takes it for a time. Then it works out into a jam that’s almost like something from Korn with more of a prog edge to it. The piece continues to evolve from there as it continues. It keeps evolving until it eventually abruptly ends.
La rotonda della memoria
Crazed prog jamming with a lot of fusion in it starts this and they explore that kind of sound in a playful, and a bit strange piece. From there, though, it works out to a more melodic and classic sounding prog movement. It’s a cool instrumental.
Stralci di quotidiano
Weird space rock with some flute soloing over it serves as the opening movement. This is slow moving and almost fits into the shoegaze category. That’s particularly true when the harder edged guitar enters. This thing grows organically and eventually starts to really rock out. It turns towards fusion as it continues and there is some killer bass work. They take this towards some klezmer styled music for a time. Eventually it turns to something a bit like jazz meets world music from there. That movement eventually ends the piece.
Paradigmi mentali
Drums start this and then we get a jam that’s a bit like a prog take on early Black Sabbath. In fact, the main riff at different times makes me think of different Sabbath songs. Shortly, though it shifts to something more like space rock merged with jazz. World music is heard merged with that Sabbath like texture as the piece gets crunchier later. Then it drops to some mellower music from there. As it grows out at times I’m reminded of early Genesis. At other points I think of the melodic side of early King Crimson. The piece keeps evolving and growing, though and Focus seems an appropriate comparison later. Magma is a fair comparison at times, too as this continues to build. Crazed shifts and changes emerge beyond that. The bass really manages to shine here and this thing just keeps twisting and turning.
Trickster
Starting metallic, that sound is alternated with more purely Italian prog. After running through like that for a time, they drop it back to more melodic prog with flute over the top. As the vocals run over that mix, it’s kind of like an Italian version of War. Eventually they bring it out to harder rocking progressive rock with more of that Italian bent to it. There’s some cool keyboard work in an instrumental movement later, too.
C'é vite sulla luna ?
This thing powers out with some killer Italian prog and turns to a crazed jam that just plain rocks as it shifts and turns this way and that. King Crimson is often a valid comparison here. There are definitely some metallic bits in this beast, too.
Disassociation
Coming in more like melodic jazz, complete with scat vocals, this is an intriguing change. This remains more or less melodic and is one of the most straightforward tunes here.
Golf Girl
Early on this is quite jazz like. Later, though, it turns out to more psychedelic progressive rock. It’s a cool tune that works really well. They take us through some cool shifts and changes as this continues.
 
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