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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Eddie Brnabic & the Cosmic Fellowship

Subtle Realms

Review by Gary Hill

This isn’t the easiest thing in the world to classify. I’ve put it under progressive rock, but I could see someone landing it under pure psychedelic rock. Personally, I hear a lot of other things here. The range runs from those previously mentioned categories to stoner rock, Native American music, space rock, jazz and more. However you classify it, though, it’s not often that a purely instrumental album is this captivating. This is really great stuff.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2014  Volume 2 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Voice of the Spirits

This instrumental features Native American sounding flute paired with the sounds of nature.

Transcendental Wine
Powering in with killer psychedelic rock this is especially tasty. It grows out in more proggy directions as it continues.
Throne of Saturn
Space rock, psychedelia and prog all mix on this tasty slab of instrumental rock music.
Still... Tripping Through Time
As cool as everything to this point has been, the “wow factor” is upped here. This is another space rock blended with psychedelia jam. It’s also a real masterpiece. I just love this. I’d say that it’s worth the price of admission all by itself. It’s quite dynamic.
Pearl
This is arguably the most purely proggy thing here. It works through several shifts and changes and still retains the space rock sounds at the same time. The guitar soloing throughout almost brings to mind Southern rock at times. Some of that guitar soloing gets extremely intense later and this thing turns quite crunchy near the end.
Moongroove
I love the smoking hot riff driving this. I also enjoy the retro flavors the keyboards and other elements bring to the table. Jam band meets prog, psychedelia and the Doors on this song. It alternates between more rocking and mellower sounds and those mellower ones sometimes include some jazz.
Waves

The riff that opens this makes me think of Black Sabbath and stoner rock. The cut itself gets plenty of jazz and prog added into it, though. It’s a killer groove that’s quite retro in tone. The drop back after the two minute mark makes me think of a jazzier Captain Beyond.

Riff Mountain
The usual suspects in terms of musical concepts are present here, but this jam has more of a mellow rocking sound in some ways. That said, the space rock and jazz are all over this thing. It works through some mellower space music and then moves out into a smoking hot jam that could fit under the “stoner metal” heading to take the piece to its closing.
Death & Resurrection
The Middle Eastern sounds as this opens are great. They build upon that foundation as the other instruments join. They take this through a number of changes, making it a killer journey.
Hidden Track
After some silence a spoken voice rises up. Echoey sounds join this as the band gradually rises. When the rhythm section joins it starts rocking out a bit more, but the space rock ensues instead of launching it into full on hard rock. The keyboard elements get quite noisy as this develops. As this works more and more into space it makes me think both of Hawkwind and early Pink Floyd. A harder edged fusion jam ensues from there to serve as the outro. However, that’s a false ending as a new jam rises up from there. That section takes the disc out.
 
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