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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Godsticks

Emergence

Review by Gary Hill

This is definitely not traditional progressive rock. The thing is, modern prog has been pushing the envelope of what is and isn’t prog. I mean, progressive rock did that in the beginning, too, but then seemed to get stuck in 1974 for a while. Although some will probably argue with me, I would consider this hard edged modern prog. Whether you agree or not, though, you should check it out because it’s a strong release.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2015  Volume 4 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Below the Belt

Although I could see this song listed as metal or grunge, I’d say that the construction and melodic vocal arrangement make it proggy. The instrumental section certainly brings it into progressive rock territory, too. However you categorize it, though, it’s strong.

Ruin
I love the bass line on this. It’s got the same grunge rock turned proggy concept as the opener. It’s even stronger than that song, as far as I’m concerned, though. This is great stuff. The instrumental breaks again bring it more purely into progressive rock territory. At times I’m reminded of things like Dream Theater just a little.
Much Sinister

Imagine taking Stone Temple Pilots and turning them more toward modern melodic progressive rock. You’ll have a good idea of what this song is like. Overall, it’s not really proggy, but it does have sections that land there.

Exit Stage Right

I don’t think I’d consider this one progressive rock at all in terms of the song proper. It’s more of a killer metal song with a lot of grunge in the mix. Yes, I suppose there are some layers of sound that are a little proggy, but overall, this doesn’t fit under that heading. I love the vocal lines on this piece. It’s a creative number. The instrumental section does land more into prog rock.

All That Remains

A mellower song, this is definitely progressive rock, although not in a traditional sense. It starts with more of a ballad-like approach, but gets quite advance later. There are some unusual changes in the mix, too. I love the vocal arrangement and the variety that this brings to the table. This is one of my favorite songs here, really.

Hopeless Situation

This is absolutely progressive rock, too. It reminds me a bit of combination of King’s X with modern Rush. It’s creative, fast paced and quite lush in terms of arrangement. This is another personal favorite of the set.

One Percent

This has grunge, thrash and more in the mix. I suppose it’s not overtly proggy, but the technical stuff qualifies. I like the vocal arrangement here and the energy.

Emergence

If there’s one song with no prog in it, this is it. This is a killer riff driven jam that’s equal parts metal and grunge. It’s well written and powerful. It’s actually another standout.

Leave Or Be Left
This is a short instrumental that’s got prog and metal blended together. It’s more like a connecting piece than it is anything else.
Lack of Scrutiny

Heavy, dark and lush in arrangement, this is very proggy, but in a modern prog way. It’s not my favorite song, but it’s quite strong, really. I love the instrumental section on this, though. It features some great guitar soloing.

 
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