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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

MoeTar

Entropy of the Century

Review by Gary Hill

It’s getting to be a pretty full crowd, but this album is a contender for my best of 2014 list. It’s that good. The prog sound here is rather off-kilter and free form in a lot of ways, but yet it’s still accessible. That’s quite a feat. This is an exciting album and one that gets better each time you spin it.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2014  Volume 5 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Dystopian Fiction

I love the fusion meets Renaissance vibe of the first vocal section of this song. It gets more powered up into harder rocking sound after a time and shifts to more mainstream progressive rock. That said, it’s still based on some crazy music. This is just such a cool piece. It’s ever shifting and yet always compelling and powerful.

Entropy of the Century
More straightforward, this is still very much a prog rocker. The vocals are a bit more restrained. This tune makes me think of a cross between Nektar and Yes in many ways. It still has enough change to keep it very interesting.
Regression to the Mean
A more rocking piece, this has a cool pounding sound to it. The vocals are less mainstream, but work very well. The chorus is more decidedly melodic and almost hook laden. Yet there are weird little shifts even in that. This has some killer keyboard soloing, too.
Welcome to the Solar Flares
Short powered up prog jam opens this. Then it drops to mellow sounds for the opening vocals. After the first verse we get a more filled out arrangement. The cut continues by alternating between the mellower and more rocking scenarios. Mind you, there’s a lot of variety and proggy goodness packed within that simple description.         
Friday Night Dreams
Bouncy progressive rock stylings are the order of business here. In a change of pace there are male vocals also included on this song. There is some almost rag-time piano on this piece. In a lot of ways, though, the piano here makes me think of Rick Wakeman a bit.
Letting Go of Life
Melodic, high energy progressive rock is the idea here. As this turns and evolves there are some particularly powerful musical moments enclosed in this awesome sonic package. The mellower section that serves as the extended outro really reminds me of Yes’ “Close to the Edge” quite a bit.
We Machines
There is a real funky fusion sound to much of this piece. The chorus has a more melodic and almost (suitably) synthetic feeling to it. This is an especially cool piece on a disc that is full of cool music.
Benefits
Although it’s based on basically just keyboards and vocals, there is a real growing, soaring vibe to this. It’s got an extended musical progression that just seems to keep evolving. It’s almost two minutes in before other instruments really get involved. Then the arrangement is essentially reinforced and takes on a bit of a fusion element.
Raze the Maze
If you can imagine music played with a stream of consciousness vibe, it would probably sound like this. Add some scat vocals that happen to be lyrical and the paradoxical description is complete. This is very fusion-like, but it’s also definitely progressive rock. I love this song. It’s far from mainstream, but it’s oddly accessible.       
Confectioner's Curse
Harder rocking, this doesn’t lose any progressive rock points in the process. This is powerful stuff that works really well. There are some actual scat vocals on this at times. It’s a shifting, churning and turning, evolutionary piece of music.
Where the Truth Lies
Harder rocking, this has some killer climbing elements at first. There are bits of this that are almost raw metal in some ways. Still, this is pure progressive rock. I don’t imagine anyone would ever question that. It’s also another powerhouse piece.
The Unknowable
While there aren’t any big changes here, this potent progressive rocker has a bit more in the field of hooks and accessible bits. That said, there are still plenty of left turns built into it.
 
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