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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Storm Chronicles

Looking Backward

Review by Gary Hill

This album is definitely progressive rock. That said, it lands somewhere in the AOR spectrum, too. It is generally fairly mellow, but it does manage to rock out at times. Whatever you call it, though, this is great stuff. This Seattle based outfit has produced a very classy release with this.

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
Still Breathing

Atmospheric keyboard sounds start this and the piece grows out gradually from there. It never goes far, though, remaining instrumental and sedate.

Looking Backward, Pt. 1
Starting with a piano arrangement, this works out towards mellow progressive rock. This is balladic, and AOR oriented, but definitely progressive rock. It gets more energy as a rocking arrangement joins much later.
Corners
As this opens it really feels a lot like something Asia might do. It works to something more like 80s music, but with some fusion in the mix. The melodic guitar solo on this is quite effective.
Ghost Writer
Mellow, tentative prog informed by fusion is the idea as this starts. There is a lot of drama built into this piece. When it works out to more rocking territory it gets a lot of emotion and power.
Cast in Faith
A bit more of a rocker than some of the other stuff here, this one combines adult contemporary sounds with progressive rock and more.
Looking Backward, Pt. 2
This starts with an extended instrumental section based on some potent melodic musical moments. It works out after a while to a piano and vocal section, bringing a real book-end element when paired with the first part. The vocals are quite evocative and this is really a powerful piece of music.
Run
The introduction on this features some seriously inspired keyboard work. The song works out from there into a more straightforward AOR based prog rocker. We’re taken on a rather dynamic ride on this song, really. It’s one of the strongest ones here. It eventually works out to a very mellow movement and then gets a new, intricate and quite pretty melody that emerges out of that.
Individual
This song is almost nine minutes in length. A good half of that is made up by the opening section that is mostly just atmospheric keyboards. Mind you, it has plenty of melody and magic in that section. From there it works to a balladic prog movement for the first vocals. The vocal performance is really the driving force behind this for a while. Then, after a couple verses, it powers out to some harder rocking prog. That movement takes it instrumentally to a mellow section that closes it.

 

 
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