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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Not a Good Sign

From a Distance

Review by Gary Hill

Italians are known for a lot of things. Progressive rock might not be the first thing to come to mind, but there is a whole subgenre devoted to it. This Italian act is at times tied to that sound. They bring in things like fusion, mainstream prog, space music and more to complete the picture, though. At times it’s modern. At times it’s retro. It’s always strong. I like this set a lot.

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
Wait for Me

The combination of sounds here is impressive. It opens with a killer jam that’s complex and walks the fence between fusion and progressive rock. As the extended introduction ends, we’re taken into more AOR progressive rock for the vocals. They drift into classically inspired space music from there. The fusion like section returns at the close of the piece.

Going Down
Mellower, melodic music with a lot of jazz in the mix starts this cut. The vocals come in over the top of that type of arrangement. This stays more straight line and melodic, but still manages to work through some changes. The mix of prog and jazz remains pretty intact here.
Flying Over Cities
With a lot of intensity and an upbeat tempo, this has both jazz and prog in the mix. It’s the first cut that really sounds like Italian progressive rock at all to me. There is a certain sound that is an integral part of that subgenre and this has it at times. Still, it’s also quite mainstream modern prog that’s informed by the classic era of progressive rock.
Not Now
More in line with Italian prog, this is a dramatic and powerful piece. It gets heavier than a lot of the rest. It’s also more dynamic. It shifts and changes in great directions here and there. The balance between more rocking and melodic is great.
Aru Hi No Yoru Deshita
Built on piano and pretty almost classical music, this is a fairly short instrumental.
Pleasure of Drowning
In full contrast to the previous cut, this powers in with an almost metal arrangement. The cut shifts and turns at points. It reminds me of modern King Crimson in some ways for sure. There are things that make me think of Primus, too. This is arguably the best song here. It’s definitely the most intense. It has so much King Crimson in the mix, really. It also is probably too metallic for some prog purists to give it a chance.
I Feel Like Snowing
Although this starts and ends with extended melodic sections, there’s a real powerhouse jam mid-track. This is a great example of the different flavors of this band.
Open Window
Although this is definitely progressive rock, it’s slow moving and twisted and very metal-like at the start. It drops to a rather creepy sounding mellower section mid-track. Piano rises up bringing the melody from there. This thing keeps getting reinvented as it turns to more fusion-like progressive rock after a while. This whole thing is one of the more dynamic tunes here.
The Diary I Never Wrote
While there are harder rocking movements to this, it’s more melodic moody music. Even when it’s powered up there seems to be a sense of melancholia to it. It’s very evocative and powerful. It’s one of my favorites of the set, really.
Farewell
This mellow instrumental is basically piano and flute. There are other elements, but until the closing bit of space those are the main ones. It’s pretty and works well as a closer.
 
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