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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Space Mirrors

The Other Gods

Review by Gary Hill

The latest installment in the series by Space Mirrors, this continues their exploration of the writings of H.P. Lovecraft. The music also continues in the same sort of heavy space rock oriented progressive rock. Musically, though, I think this is stronger than the previous one. There is a bit of an indie-music edge to it that is most clearly represented in the production values. The vocals tend towards spoken and might be a bit difficult for some listeners to take, but they work well for this. Former Hawkwind member Nik Turner even guests here.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2013  Volume 6 at

Track by Track Review
Stranger in the Mirror

Cool keyboard elements open this up. It fires out from there into some fast paced progressive rock. I like the vocals that come over the top of this. They are more spoken than sung, but they are quite cool. This is almost metal at times, but there is plenty of progressive rock in terms of the keyboard sounds and space rock elements we hear.

The Nameless City
Spacey keyboard sounds open this one up. Then some balladic elements rise up from there. It gets rather fusion-like as this moves. Eventually this works towards more typical progressive rock. It’s heavy and rather metallic, but the vocals are mostly spoken. At times this is rather dissonant. It’s got some cool instrumental work later, too. It works out to more pure melodic prog at the end.
This comes in more metallic than some of the other stuff. There are space rock layers of the top, though and this is a hard rocking jam that’s quite cool. I love the melodic guitar solo later. As it shifts out into electronic, keyboard dominated progressive rock later, it’s a great touch, too. It works back to the song proper before they end.
Frozen City of Cubes and Cones
This is a cool piece. It’s got a heavier, more crunchy section, but it also has some of the most purely progressive rock oriented music of the whole disc. There is a much heavier section later, but it also has some of the most melodic guitar soloing of the set. Saxophone wails further down the musical road. There’s a grinding, driving section from there that is quite Hawkwind-like. It evolves to something a bit more metallic from there, though. From there we get back into the song proper. There’s a more purely prog section beyond that.
(The Case Of) Red Hook
Coming in heavy and more metallic, this is a powerhouse tune. In a lot of ways (including some of the vocals) this is the more purely metal tune here. Yet, there are some nearly purely progressive rock oriented sections, including one with some echoey guitar soloing. There is a weird Gong meets Hawkwind kind of segment right at the end.
Strange High House
More of a chugging hard rock sound opens this and the vocals come over the top of that. It gets more involved and complex as it continues, though. It evolves into more melodic progressive rock sections, too. There is saxophone soloing later that skirts the boundaries of “on key.”
Times Unknown
Pretty piano starts this cut. That holds it for a time before other instruments are added filling in the progressive rock arrangement. There is a heavier section in the piece and this is energized and does a good job of combining that prog sound with the heavier, nearly metal one. There is a cool expansive jam later in the piece, too. The piano shines on that. Then it works back out to the harder rocking section again. But, more proggy stuff is heard later, too.
The Other Gods
More of a dreamy, trippy kind of progressive rock sound is heard on this. It’s quite definitely space rock. It’s also dark and feels a bit dangerous. This is does get heavier later. There is a great space rock movement later in the track serving as the outro. This one never gets anywhere near the realm of metal.
Doom of Sarnath
Dark and heavy, this pounds in quite metallic. More space rock is heard in the mix, but the section where the “doom” actually comes gets quite metallic. There’s some screaming guitar soloing there, too. Yet, it resolves out from there into more pure space metal. After a guitar solo space keys take over and hold it to the end.
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