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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Ramses

Firewall

Review by Gary Hill

I’m sure some people will argue with this landing under progressive rock. Sure, it does lean toward the AOR end of that equation. Still, it’d consider it a better fit under prog than just about any place else. Either way, I like this album quite a bit. I’m definitely reminded of the band Europe here. That’s a good thing, too. There is quite a bit of variety and some excellent music encased within this album. 


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
Welcome to the Show

Dramatic and rather theatrical, this starts with a mellower section, but powers out to harder rocking territory later. Although there is definitely some crunch built into this, I’d consider it AOR prog more than I would metal. I love the keyboard solo section later, too. The melodic guitar soloing is great, too.

Save the World
Although the sound that brings this in could be called metal, it gives way to a more melodic AOR prog movement. This is a great rocker. There are some cool changes built into this thing.
Love in Vain
A mellower tune, this has some soaring moments. It’s another strong one and a different flavor. It’s not the proggiest thing here, but there are elements.
Into the Moments
There is more of a bouncy kind of groove to this song. It’s not as solid as some of the rest, but it does bring some variety.
All This Time
This cut reminds me a lot of Fish era Marillion. It’s one of the most outright proggy songs here. It’s also one of my favorites. I’d highly recommend this number.
Firewall
There is some metal in the mix here. It’s also got plenty of AOR prog. It’s got a catchy chorus and a fairly complex song structure. It’s a strong cut for sure.
Virgin Zone
This one definitely land more in a metal territory. It’s got a melodic element, though. While it’s more metallic, it also makes me think of Peter Gabriel a bit.
Thirst in My Heart
Some Gregorian chant opens this cut. It grows out to a song that’s rather mellow. This also makes me think of Gabriel. I love the saxophone solo on this piece. There are symphonic elements as it grows later, landing it thoroughly in the realm of AOR prog.
The Straw That Broke the Camel's Back
Combining AOR prog with both melodic metal and electronic music, this is another strong tune.
Look at Your Neighbour (Live Version)
I really like this a lot. It’s very much an AOR prog song, but it does lean toward old school metal later in the track, too. I absolutely love the technical guitar soloing later. While it’s rather on the metal side of the equation, it’s still melodic and even has some groove built into it.
X-Mas Song
A mellower cut, this combines electronic music with AOR prog. It’s good stuff. It’s just not up to the level of some of the rest.
Back to the Glades
The mellow section at the start is lush and purely progressive rock. Some of the rest here reminds me a lot of the band Europe. There is some great melodic guitar soloing later. This instrumental is one hundred percent prog.
Look at Your Neighbour (Soft Version)
This mellower rendition the previous piece is rather electronic and quite proggy (AOR variety) at the same time. Somehow the vocals make me think of the Bee Gees just a little.
 
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