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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Toomas Vanem

1

Review by Gary Hill

This is all instrumental music. It’s also guitar based and lands somewhat near folks like Steve Vai and Joe Satriani. Still, this is different than that and there is a lot of progressive rock built into this. It’s varied enough to keep it from feeling repetitive. It’s also quite strong.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2015  Volume 1 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Tomorrow's Child

After a short mellow introduction, this powers out into a fast paced hard edged jam that reminds me a bit of Dream Theater. It rocks out like crazy as it moves forward, but overlayers of sound bring prog and fusion elements to play. There are definitely some links to technical metal, but I’d say this lands more in the progressive rock end of the playground. I love the melodic, mainstream section that’s more “song” like later, too.

Lonely Proton
Combining fusion with something like Steve Vai or Joe Satriani, this guitar laden beast has some killer melodies and a lot of groove. The mellower drop back section is quite tasty.
Ghost Story
There is a bit of weird atmospherics (the ghost?) and then a scream at the start of this. Then we’re off into more proggy guitar dominated jamming. There are drop backs to mellower sections. The whole piece has a lot of fusion built into it.
Operation S.S.E.S.
There are some particularly metallic moments here, but I’d still land this more under prog or fusion than metal. This is one of the most straightforward journeys here.
Birthday Illusions
Guitar based instrumental jamming produces a real fusion vibe on this number. It’s another solid one, but the formula is beginning to wear a bit thin.
Summer Samba
Now, this one is pure jazz. It’s a bit like something George Benson would do. This is one of the most purely melodic cuts here. It brings some much needed variety to the table.
Orbital Man
After a short bit of weirdness, this launches out into fast paced and twisting guitar jamming. It’s part metal, part prog and part fusion. There are some bits of acoustic guitar jamming laid over the top that make me think a bit of Al Di Meola.
Attack of the Killer Honey Bees
Here is another that makes me think of Dream Theater quite a bit. It’s frantic and powerful. There are definitely classical elements at play on this. The excursion into more fusion based stuff is quite cool. This is one of the more dynamic and unusual tracks of the set.
Gravity of Eiffel Tower
This piece is quite melodic. It’s very much a fusion based jam. It’s entertaining, too. There is a sense of mystery and drama about a lot of it. A mellower movement later in the track features some impressive bass work.
Flower Power
Here’s another that makes me think of Satriani or Vai. It’s a solid tune, but doesn’t really stand out all that much.
Butterfly Effect
I like this a lot. It has a lot of fusion combined with more of that guitar hero type sound. It’s melodic and puts down quite an effective groove.
 
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