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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

State Urge

Confrontation

Review by Gary Hill

A candidate for best of 2015, I love this album. I liked their earlier one that I reviewed, but this is even better. It’s got such a great mix of sounds. It’s a dramatic and powerful ride. It never disappoints, either. This Polish prog band have outdone themselves. If you’ve liked them in the past, you must get this. If you’ve never heard them, this would be a great starting place.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2015  Volume 3 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Confrontation

Keyboards start this. The vocals join along with some more rocking elements. The cut resembles a combination of modern prog with modern metal. This eventually segues straight into the next number.

Revival
Shifting this way and that, the extended opening instrumental section gets really intense at times. I love the retro organ sound. There is a weird twist out to a pure jazz treatment that works really well.  A couple minutes in the track shifts to something that feels like a continuation of the opener. The first vocals come in over the top of this new movement. The piece continues to evolve from there in dramatic modern progressive rock fashion.
Liquid Disease
An energized and dynamic example of modern progressive rock, this also feels like a continuation of what has come before it. It is evocative, powerful and ever changing. The length of this (7:10) lands it in near epic territory. The musical shifts and changes add to that effect. It is really an impressive piece of music.
Cold as a Lie
A pretty keyboard tapestry brings this in from the previous number. It has a definite classic prog vibe to it as the vocals come over this moody backdrop. It’s a couple minutes in before it powers out from there. It loses no magic in the process. In some ways, this reminds me quite a bit of Nektar. It’s a great cut and one of my favorites here. An organ eventually takes this into the next number.
Midnight Mistress
Organ weaves melody on the introduction to this piece. It works through shifts and changes and gets incredibly intense as it continues. This is a perfect example of great modern progressive rock. It has harder rocking sections counterpointed by mellower ones. Yet they all work together to tell one cohesive musical tale. This is so intense at times. It’s one of my favorites here. It has some very dramatic and powerful sections.
New Season
This is a balladic piece for the first two minutes plus. It’s moody and very pretty with acoustic guitar really leading the way. That guitar gets some real chances to shine in some intricate soloing. The cut gets intensified with a more full arrangement and some rocking sounds after a time. There’s a tasteful guitar solo during this powered up section, too.
Before the Dawn
At four minutes in length, this is one of the shorter cuts here. It has a real soaring modern progressive rock sound. It’s also got some high energy moments. It gets into mellower territory at times, too. This makes me think of Pink Floyd along with acts like RPWL and Porcupine Tree.
More
The first couple minutes of this are set within a minimalist kind of mellower motif. It powers out after that into a different kind of keyboard dominated movement. It has more energy and intensity. There’s something in this section that sounds a lot like theremin. The piece continues to evolve as guitar takes more of a central role. This piece is the true epic of the album, clocking in at over ten minutes in length. It’s also one of the most dynamic, growing through a lot of different sections. It’s my favorite piece here. It is just packed with so many tasty sections. That makes it the best choice for closer of anything here.
 
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