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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Theraphosa

Hung like Mussolini

Review by Gary Hill

I’m sure a lot of people will argue with me putting this under progressive rock. If by that term you mean music that sounds like the stuff Yes, Genesis and King Crimson did in the 1970s, you’d be right. If, on the other hand, you are talking about music that progresses rock, then this definitely belongs here. It’s extreme, hard edged and incredibly cool. Those with a sense of adventure should love this.

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
Adzhan

Middle Eastern singing opens this. Then a heavy riff joins to take it forward. We are taken through a number of changes. It remains heavy and dark throughout, though.    

Big Paxton
This comes in like a metal version of Hawkwind. We get a more powerhouse jam from there. The vocals land toward extreme metal at times. This is quite heavy metal oriented and very extreme. Still, some of the world music melodies that come over the top lend a bit of a prog angle to it. A keyboard oriented electronic break mid-track adds some more variety. After the whole song proper seems to end, a full on jazz treatment, old school jazz in the vein of something you’d hear in Kubrick’s “Shining,” is the concept. It works out to a piano and vocal, old time music section from there. It’s still in keeping with the same time period. A spoken sound bite ends the piece.
The Crypt Fugue
Organ starts this and works through classical music modes. In fact, that’s the only concept on this short instrumental.
Neda
Female world music vocals with a textural backdrop start this and hold it for a time. Then it literally screams out into frantic extreme metal territory. This is crazed stuff for sure. This works through quite a few changes, landing more into an extremely metallic prog range.
A.D.H.D.
This song is a weird, but compelling, mash up of electronic music and extreme metal.
The Revolting Blob (Bonus Track)
After a short bit of electric music, they fire out into some seriously fast and crunchy jamming. This is almost like modern extreme metal merged with the Dead Kennedys. If the whole set was like this, I wouldn’t put it under progressive rock at all, but rather metal. Still, it does shift out to space music for a time mid-track.
 
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