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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Kaukasus

‘1’

Review by Gary Hill

I really love the blend of sounds on this. It’s overall a pretty dark album, but there is a lot of range here. We get modern prog, jazzy elements, Fish era Marillion to things like Giant Squid and even 80s Europop. While the combination might sound like it would clash, it all works well together as assembled here. This is a very effective release that should please modern prog fans. 


This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2015  Volume 2 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
The Ending of the Open Sky

Some mellower sounds open this before it pounds out to some almost metallic textures. The vocals bring an almost dreamy element. This works through a number of changes with an unusual and very effective twist on modern progressive rock sounds. The mellower drop back at the end is dramatic and just plain great.

Lift the Memory
Percussion starts this track. As it works to the song proper it really combines 1980s music with modern progressive rock. The vocal performance is more powerful and rocking than that on the previous piece. There is almost jazzy sound to some of the arrangement here. This has a great balance between mellower and more rocking sections. The dropped back movement with the spoken vocals makes me think of some of the similar sections of Fish era Marillion.
In the Stillness of Time
There is a lot of 80s Europop built into this piece. Still, it has plenty of moody modern prog like Porcupine Tree encased in the mix. I really love the atmospherics at the end of this.
Starlit Motion
The atmospherics from the previous cut open this and build gradually in a real space rock kind of vibe. Although a bit understated, this is quite an effective instrumental.
Reptilian
Starting with something that’s tied to world music, this builds out into some of the most mainstream prog of the set. As it continues to evolve there are moments that make me think of modern King Crimson. This quite a dynamic and diverse piece, with strange bits of space interspersed with the more standard progressive rock.
The Witness
Slow moving and mellow, this is pretty, but also a little warped in sound. It qualifies as moody modern prog, but it also has space music in the mix.
The Skies Give Meaning
Although this seems to continue the musical themes of the previous piece, it really gets a lot more powerful. There are some seriously soaring moments in this cut. Then it turns very heavy. It reminds me a bit of a cross between stoner metal and something like Giant Squid. The final section is decidedly mellow.
 
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