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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Fright Pig

Out of the Barnyard

Review by Gary Hill

This is a great disc. The blend of progressive rock sounds here is classic. Still, it stretches towards modern sounds in terms of occasional metallic edges. This should please most progressive rock fans new and old. That said, those who have a major aversion to metal based prog will find a couple tunes here they won’t like. I’d say that’s their loss because this is a strong set beginning to end.

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
Re: Creation

This starts quite mellow and atmospheric and the first vocals come in understated and distant. The piece grows gradually upward before exploding out into a killer jam that calls to mind ELP with its keyboard dominated style. After that peaks we get a drop back to an acoustic guitar motif for the next vocal movement. Beyond that sections there are a series of changes. At times I’m reminded of Starcastle. At other points I think of Yes and other things make me think of Gentle Giant and Genesis. It’s quite a dynamic piece with a lot of old-school progressive rock represented in terms of influences. This thing keeps changing, but the changes are all organic.

Incident At Pembroke
The first three minutes or so of this instrumental is set in a sound that’s quite Celtic progressive rock in style. After that it works to some crazed music that’s like ELP. Then we’re taken out into some classically tinged symphonic metal for a guitar solo. More pure Celtic music takes it from there. ELP returns for the closing exaction.
The Meaning of Dreams
With keyboards dominating ELP is definitely a valid reference point on the extended introduction here. It drops way down for the vocals. Then after a verse we’re taken into more hard rocking music for the next vocals. The cut keeps shifting and evolving from there. The extended jam beyond that makes me think of Emerson Lake and Palmer merged with Dream Theater. Then we’re taken back into the song proper for the return of the vocals. They keep changing it up, though. There’s a killer retro prog section with some powerful rocking vocals.
Barque At the Lune
A classical piano solo opens this. From there they power into some screaming neo-classically tinged metallic prog. They take it through a number of changes and then drop back into piano solo territory. Guitar screams up with neo-classical fury from there. This instrumental keeps shifting and evolving, but overall is a neo-classical bit of brilliance.
Darkest of Forms
Waves of keyboards with spoken bits of sound in the background opens this piece. From there it powers out into another metallic progressive rock jam that’s awesome. They drop it way down around the one minute mark, though to a classically tinged, keyboard element. Then sound effects and textures serve as the backdrop for processed, spoken vocals. Eventually it grows out from there. It powers straight up from there into more rocking territory and the first sung vocals of the tune emerge. This very much fits as a classically slanted metallic progressive rock jam. Around the four minute mark it drops way down again and starts to evolve from there. Less than a minute later we’re back to the harder rocking sounds. There’s a short drum solo later. Then metallic guitar launches it out into a jam that has a real Iron Maiden-like riff behind it. They add the prog elements over the top of that and eventually bring it back to the earlier sounds to continue. The evolution isn’t over, though. They drop it down to mellower music later and then we get something like a crunchier ELP from there. That section takes it to the end with a little false ending bit there right before the real closing.
Presumido
Intricate acoustic guitar opens this. Metallic guitar joins as the full band treatment emerges. This powers into the most metallic piece of the set. Still, for my money it still lands well on the progressive rock side of metal. The cut continues to shift and evolve with different elements taking the forefront here and there. The instrumental takes us through a number of changes before dropping way down around the four minute mark. They bring it back up from there to continue to the closing.
The Claustrophobia of Time

Some atmospheric sound effects (including pig noises) start this off. They power it up from there into a smoking hot classically tinged crunch prog jam. Then it drops back to just strange keyboards for a time. This keeps evolving powering back up after that. Again ELP seems a valid reference point. As the musical evolution continues we get a bit of a prog hoe-down. Then it shifts to a metallic movement for the first vocals around the four and a half minute mark. After that movement we’re back into a rapidly evolving musical tapestry. At times I’m reminded of ELP. Other points make me think of Pink Floyd. As it gets into sort of a psychedelic classical prog jam it’s awesome and calls to mind Pentwater just a bit. It resolves to more melodic progressive rock from there. It’s a thrill ride, though, that just keeps shifting and changing.

 
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