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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Simak Dialog

The Sixth Story

Review by Gary Hill

These guys always create great fusion. This album is no exception. I generally put them under the “prog” heading because fusion really is just the jazz end of that equation and I tend to think these guys have enough rock here to keep it in the progressive rock genre. Whatever you call it, though, this is an entertaining set that continues their fine tradition of great albums.

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

Track by Track Review
Stepping Inn

This cut has a lot of great melody. It’s cool fusion and just plain rocks. It runs through a lot of changes and feels pretty freeform at times. I love the sections where it seems to careen from one side to the other and back again. There is a short percussion showcase on this piece, too. There is also a section that leans toward space rock. It moves into rather King Crimson like territory at times.

Lain Parantina
Somehow this seems a bit more “straight line” in conception and construction. The keyboard solo segment works really well, too. The guitar drives a lot of this.  There are some points here that lean towards Crimsonian sounds. It does shift towards some freeform Rock In Opposition like sounds at times, though.
Harmologic
An energized fusion tune is on hand here. This is a shorter piece that’s more cohesive. It’s also quite cool. It’s also one of the stranger compositions on show here.
What Would I Say
This is much mellower. It’s great balladic melodic fusion. It’s cohesive, rather relaxing and quite pretty.
For Once and Never
With more energy and drive, this is a cool tune. It’s dramatic and powerful. There is some great keyboard soloing in this cut.  The guitar plays a leading role, too, though.
Common League
Some of the guitar playing on this is pretty crazed. In some ways the song feels a lot like a fusion version of Djam Karet. The percussion is pretty prominent here, too. There is some great keyboard soloing.
As Far As It Can Be (Jaco)
This is the most straightforward composition of the set. It’s also one of the most effective. It’s got some great melody and a nice slow groove to it. I think this is my favorite piece here.
5, 6
This is another of the best tunes here. There is a lot of melody and it seems to combine fusion with space rock music. It’s an effective melding of sounds.
Ari
Another melodic fusion, tune, this is a cool one, as well. I particularly enjoy the piano soloing here. The synthesizer soloing also does quite a bit for me. At times I’m reminded of Pat Metheny on this cut. 
 
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