Artists | Issues | CD Reviews | Interviews | Concert Reviews | DVD/Video Reviews | Book Reviews | Who We Are | Staff | Home
 
Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Jack Jeffery

Enlightened Horizon

Review by Gary Hill

This is quite cool. The music ranges from Vangelis like music to territory like Enigma, Pink Floyd and more. Everything here is pretty effective, but some things work better than others do. If there is one problem here, it’s the vocals which are a bit problematic at various points throughout the set. This is good enough to overlook that, though. Besides some of the songs are instrumentals.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2014  Volume 6 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Global Rise, Ancient Truth

Intricate and quite pretty music rises up. It feels a bit like Vangelis as it starts. That sound remains as it intensifies, but things like Alan Parsons and Pink Floyd are valid references, too. As the rhythm section fills in, there are definitely more electronic music elements at play. There are some wonderfully pretty melodies that emerge over the top of this as it continues. After a the three and a half minute mark it drops way down and some female world music vocals are heard over the top. That lends a bit of an Enigma vibe to it. The cut works back out from there to more powered up and almost funky stuff. This crescendos and then drops back to segue into the next cut.

Melancholy Minstrel
The atmosphere that ended the last piece starts this one. Mellow melodies rise up and the vocals bring it into quite Pink Floyd-like territory. There are some variants on this. At times it’s more like psychedelic rock. There is a powered up section later that’s more mainstream progressive rock. The ending section is a keyboard dominated movement.
The Road That Never Ends
Acoustic guitar opens this and weaves a folk rock styled arrangement. There’s almost a merging of bluegrass and Pink Floyd on this cut. This isn’t the most obvious progressive rock piece, but the strings and other elements bring a real folk prog element to bear.
Memories of Tomorrow
A mellower, atmospheric and psychedelic piece, this definitely feels a lot like Pink Floyd. This is a little slow and a little too constant for me, but it has some pretty keyboard elements.
Approaching the Starlight
In some ways, this starts off in similar territory to the previous cut. It has a bit more energy and “oomph,” though. It builds out to a harder rocking version of itself around the three minute mark. There are some vocals on this, but they are distant and deep in the mix, more like instruments than vocals. They are non-lyrical, as this is an instrumental. It has some great melodic guitar soloing later.
Continuum
The first sounds, I think are jus harp. It could be a synthesizer simulating that, though. There is an electronic, energized groove to this. It makes me think of Krafwerk, but with more of a rocking energy to it. There are some vocals on this, world music styled and some others, but the album says it’s an instrumental. Sure, the female vocals are either non-lyrical or in another language and the spoken male voice just says the title of the song. There’s a false ending that gives way to weird electronic reprise. A radio being tuned is heard and at times the song emerges. Then something else rises up after more tuning. This radio scanning ends the disc.
Sonata No. 1 in C for Theorbo
This piece is less than a minute and a half in length. It’s delicate and quite pretty. It’s another instrumental.
Amazing Grace / The Consequence of Love
Sound effects start this. Then a heavy, bass solo styled version of “Amazing Grace” emerges. It makes me think of the way Chris Squire does it. It’s distorted and almost distant sounding. From there, we’re taken out to a hard rocking number. It’s fuzz driven and rather industrial. It reminds me a bit of Neil Young and Crazy Horse. It feels a bit amateurish, though. I think this set would be much stronger without this. It works out to a traditional telling of “Taps” with some other things in the mix.
Trans-Celestial Express
As this comes in, it definitely feels like Kraftwerk. As it gets more melody added to the mix, it starts to feel more like Vangelis. The keyboards really make this instrumental shine.
Never Go Back to the Mountain
Psychedelia, folk rock and prog are combined on this. It’s a little awkward in terms of the vocal arrangement, but has a dreamy kind of vibe that’s quite effective. It gets pretty intense as the arrangement fills out later in the piece.
Our Own Past
There is powerful music on this one. It calls to mind Pink Floyd and The Moody Blues, Alan Parsons and more. It’s a satisfying conclusion to the disc.

 

 
More CD Reviews
Metal/Prog Metal
Non-Prog
Progressive Rock

Ultimate Indie Bundle Banner
 
Google

   Creative Commons License
   This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.

    © 2019 Music Street Journal                                                                           Site design and programming by Studio Fyra, Inc./Beetcafe.com