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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Tolerance

When Time Stops

Review by Gary Hill

In a lot of ways this fits into a heavy metal or mainstream hard rock sound. The thing is, there are also plenty of progressive rock elements here. Most often this lands somewhere near Dream Theater. Still, I know some prog purists don’t consider that band progressive rock. The truth is, I do. I’d have to say that to my ears these guys sometimes play it too safe, plotting courses that take them into the AOR end of things. That said, though, they show plenty of talent and this is an album I’d definitely recommend to fans of Dream Theater and that school of metallic prog.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2013  Volume 5 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Lutin

They fire out here into a jam that’s got lots of energy. It calls to mind Dream Theater quite a bit. Then it drops back to something a bit like electronic meets symphonic with some world music in the mix. A metallic guitar riff powers out from there. The vocals come over the top of that section. This thing works this way and that as it continues. At times it’s almost metal. There’s also a fusion meets world music section. It’s a very rapidly changing and evolving number. There are several sections that feel rather like technical metal.

When Time Stops
The general mix of sounds here is quite similar to those on the opener. This is a bit more of a straightforward tune, though. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still got twists and turns, but it’s more accessible and mainstream in some ways.
Different Skies
And, this one is less mainstream. There are some seriously quirky moments. This has a lot of Dream Theater in the mix, but it’s also got some sounds that land it closer to more freeform Rock In Opposition. It’s a real monster of a tune weighing in at over nine-minutes in length and packed full of various shifts and changes.
Drifted
As cool as the previous cuts were, I like this even more. It’s evocative and powerful. It has a lot in common with symphonic epic metal. Yet, it also has more of that Dream Theater vibe. There’s even an instrumental section that borders on melodic fusion.
Blind Spot
A funky bass brings this one into being. It’s got a great bluesy funk groove. They shift and change it up here and there, but overall this is perhaps a bit like a cross between Dream Theater, some fusion band and a metal act. There is a rather metallic movement later with some spoken vocals.
Meeting the Path
The vocal hook on this is great and it’s another tune that has a lot of ties to that Dream Theater sound. Overall, this isn’t that different from the rest of the stuff here, but it is also unique in its delivery.
Beware of the Birds
The opening section (meaning first minute plus of this) is just about heavy metal. Then, though, a bit of atmospheric weirdness gives way to a mellower and melodic jazz jam. More metallic sounds return after that and a Dream Theater like jam eventually ends it.
 
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