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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

The Age of the Universe


Review by Gary Hill

This isn’t progressive rock I the traditional sense of the term. It’s progressive rock in the way that any of the modern alternative rock inspired stuff like Radiohead and shoegaze is. What’s not at question, though, is the quality of music here. This is a great album from a talented band. While it has a familiarity to it, it’s also quite original. The blend of sound ranges from the aforementioned alternative rock to metal (one song really is metal), psychedelia and more. It’s a set that works well from start to finish. I look forward to more from this outfit in the future.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2014  Volume 4 at

Track by Track Review

After some sound effects, they fire out into fast paced jamming that’s heavy and crunchy. It drops back for an alternative rock meets modern prog section for the first vocals. The chorus is much heavier. There is a lot of psychedelia built into it. There is almost a frantic version of a shoegaze sound on this thing. It’s a killer tune and a real powerhouse.

Frantic and powerful, this one seems to combine 1980s music with modern proggy stuff like Radiohead and The Cure. It’s another smoking hot tune. It’s crunchy and dramatic and a real screamer. I really love the instrumental section late in the track.
The Men on the Edge
Starting with something like Gregorian chant, this moves out into a dramatic jam from there, tentatively at first. Then it gets some seriously heavy guitar added to the mix. There is a metallic riff that takes it after that section winds through. This song is quite seriously a screamer, combining something like a modern progressive rock edge with thrash metal and even some old school metal. This is one of my favorite songs here.
Far from the Sun feat. A rainy day in Bergen
Melodic, acoustic driven music opens this in stark contrast to the sounds we’ve heard to this point. Jazz, psychedelia and progressive rock seem to merge here as this grows outward. The song is over half way over around the three minute mark before it gets into heavy, powered up sounds. Even then, it’s sort of metal combined with modern progressive rock. Multiple layers of vocals add a lot to this. It’s another highlight of the set.
Fallen Angel
This powers in hard rocking, but drops back to something like psychedelia turned modern progressive rock from there. It powers up for the chorus, with a hard-edged, hook laden section. There are some pretty intriguing musical elements that emerge later as this keeps evolving. There are world music styled progressions over an almost tribal drumming. This is another highlight for me, without question. It launches out into a riff that makes me think of modern Rush later.
The main portion of this song is more hard edged and furious. It combines modern prog with metal in a scorching arrangement. They drop it down to mellower music mid-track, though that’s more purely prog (mind you, still modern). I love the vocals when it powers back up for the closing section.
The title track is almost eight minutes in length. It opens with melodic, but still rather crunchy modern progressive rock sounds. This gives way after the first vocal section to a more powered up jam that’s in keeping with the proggier sounds of acts like Radiohead. For balance it drops back down after a time to a variant on the first section. They bring it back out into the harder rocking stuff later, but then drop it way down to a mellower instrumental jam that’s quite trippy. It fires back out into the scorching hard rocking section after that for a particularly inspired vocal section. They drop it back down after, though. The vocals have a very accessible, melodic sound to them. They end the piece by slowing it down, like a record player with the power turned off. It’s a little creepy to me for some reason. That’s not a bad thing, though.
Spanish Eyes
The majority of this song lands in the melodic, mellower modes. It does power up into a harder rocking jam mid-track, though. This is good, but not one of the standouts.
Say it loud
If the whole album were like this, I would have landed it under “heavy metal.” This screamer is definitely metal. It’s also definitely awesome. It’s fast paced and furious and just plain cool.
The bulk of this piece is mellower and more melodic. With that said, though, it’s still dynamic, working through some changes. There are some rather creepy elements at times in this more sedate section. The harder edged section really feels like a more impassioned version of the earlier modes of the song.
Dreams of Tomorrow
I love the contrast between the mellower bulk of the piece and the harder rocking ones mid-track. This is, overall, sort of a continuation of the sounds of the rest of the album. While it’s good, it doesn’t really stand out all that much from the rest.
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