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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

The Prog Collective

Epilogue

Review by Gary Hill

This is quite a cool set. The main man behind this is Billy Sherwood, and I always like the stuff he does. He’s assembled quite a cast here and they work through a number of intriguing sounds. Overall this is in the same general territory as the kind of music Sherwood does with Circa: and also did with Yes in the Open Your Eyes era. This is entertaining, but lacks a lot of peaks and valleys. Still, it’s quite good.

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
Are We to Believe?

The vibe to this definitely calls to mind the Open Your Eyes era of Yes. Colin Moulding handles the vocals here. Rick Wakeman does the synthesizer solos. Steve Hillage is the lead guitar player. Mel Collings plays saxophones and flutes. This tune will definitely hit home for fans of that OYE/The Ladder era of Yes. It’s a great mainstream AOR progressive rock song.

What Can Be Done?
With John Wetton on lead vocals, Derek Sherinian providing keyboards and John Wesley on guitar, this song is mellower than the opener. It’s got more of an adventurous arrangement, too. There are a lot of very stripped back sections. It’s still got hints of that same OYE-era sound, but overall this is more of a pure progressive rock than a mainstream prog type piece.
Adding Fuel to the Fire
This rocks out more than anything else we’ve heard to this point. It’s fast paced and runs between something that’s almost metallic and more Yes-like progressive rock. Steve Morse handles the lead guitar while his former Dregs bandmate Jordan Rudess plays the keys. Fee Waybill provides the lead vocals. This is powerful and rather catchy. There is a drop back to a mellower section later in the song. This is among the best tunes here. I really love the almost space rock styled instrumental movement later. The bass line on this is also particularly noteworthy. There are really some great moments here and this is the strongest piece to this point of the set.
Tomorrow Becomes Today
This might well be guitarist Peter Banks’ last recording. He was the original guitarist for Yes and he passed away earlier this year, shortly after playing on this song. It is a rather Yes-like song and that’s appropriate. It has some really dramatic moments. Sonja Kristina is the singer here. Larry Fast provides the keyboard solos. This is a good tribute to Banks. There are several shifts and changes along this musical road. I really like the rather melodic almost jazzy mellower movement later in the piece. I also like how they take that out into somewhat noisy space for a short time.
Shining Diamonds
Vocals open this cut. It works out from there into a pretty energized jam. Alan Parsons handles the lead vocals on this tune. Chris Squire plays the bass, sounding a bit like he did on the Tormato album. Patrick Moraz is the keyboard player here and Steve Stevens plays the guitar. This is one of the standout tunes here. It’s just got a bit of a more rock and roll vibe to it and really works well.
In Our Time
Nik Turner does the flute and saxophone on this piece while Billy Sherwood himself handles the lead vocals. The killer retro sounding keyboard solo on this one is provided by Geoff Downes. There are some great moments here. It’s a fairly fast paced progressive rock jam that’s very effective.
Memory Tracks
Nektar’s Roye Albrighton provides the vocals here. This is one of the coolest cuts of the disc. In part that’s because it seems a bit different than the rest of the stuff. Nektar would be a good musical reference, but Pink Floyd also seems valid. This is more of a spacey tune in a lot of ways. I really love the awesome jam later in the piece.
Just Another Day
There’s a cool bouncy groove as this track opens. Gary Green is responsible for guitars (both electric and acoustic) on this number. Billy Sherwood handles the vocals and Tony Kaye does the keyboards. About a minute or so in it drops to a mellow acoustic guitar movement. From there the piece continues evolving with different progressive rock sections emerging, working through and eventually ending. I really love some of the music on this. It’s got some great moment. The acoustic driven section around the seven minute mark is particularly effective. All in all, this is one of the highlights of the set. It provides a lot of variety and also a lot of magic.
Epilogue
The closing piece is the title track. It’s got a lot of great sound to it, feeling a bit like Pink Floyd at times. The only vocals are spoken ones provided by none other than William Shatner. It’s a cool song and a great way to end it.
 
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