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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Consider the Source

World War Trio Parts II & III

Review by Gary Hill

I remember when I reviewed the EP that made up the first part of this trilogy I was hoping for more music from this outfit. Well, here is the answer to that wish. This is another solid helping of instrumental progressive rock. I tend to think, though, that it goes on a little too long. After a while, it starts to seem too similar. Still, when the music is this good, that’s not really much of a complaint.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2015  Volume 5 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Disc I

 

     
Aquarians

There are a lot of world music based melodies in this. The cut starts fairly mellow on acoustic instruments and grows out from there. At times it approaches heavy metal. Other parts land in the fusion neighborhood. This takes us through a number of shifts and changes, yet somehow it feels like a very consistent ride.

Many Words of Disapproval
Fusion, progressive rock and more emerge on this cool jam. It has some non-lyrical vocals and a real driving bass line. There are hints of world music here, too, along with psychedelia and more. This is quite a cool ride. Although there is no theremin listed in the credits for the album, something here sounds like it. That’s a good thing to me.
This Dubious Honor

This starts much mellower. It’s got psychedelia and a lot more built into it. There are some cool funky elements at play, too. Some of the soloing gets a little noisy, but it’s a tasty noise. Some of the guitar soloing later on this piece gets particularly crazed and powerful. There is a cool, more laid back, almost bluesy jam later, too. I love the balance between mellower and more rocking, grounded and soaring on this piece.

One Hundred Thousand Fools

This is extremely percussive. It’s also heavily based in world music. I’m not even sure I’d consider this to be rock music for much of its length. It’s very definitely progressive music, though.

Up to, But Not to Exceed...Whoa

With some processed spoken monologue explaining some math, this piece is weird, but also cool. It reminds me of King Crimson at times. At other points it’s closer to something from the Rock In Opposition movement. There are a number of changes and themes. It’s sort of equally balanced between melodic and rhythmic points of interest. It shifts to some smoking hot, nearly metal music later. Then a funky kind of bass part takes over and has an almost Les Claypool kind of vibe to it. There is a cool vibe solo on a mellower segment that emerges further down the road.

You Are Obsolete

An epic length piece, this really has it all. From funky movements to pure symphonic progressive rock, mellow bits of spacey weirdness, nearly full electronic music, fusion and more Primus like shifts and changes, this is quite a dynamic thrill ride. It can be hard to keep up with all the changes, but it sure is fun to try.

Tooth (Intro)

This is a short (less than a minute) jazz meets world music kind of piece. It’s a bit weird.

Absence of a Prominent Tooth

There is a real classical music feel to this, but it’s all prog rock. There is some world music on hand in the mix, too. That’s particularly true when it drops back to the old world jam. Some of the jamming on this gets pretty frenzied. I love the almost metal world music section that emerges later. The funk that follows it is classic, too.

Brother Nature

Another with a lot of percussion at play, this is also quite world music related. It’s less rock than a lot of the stuff here. In fact, it’s much more strictly world music than just about any other piece on the set.

40% Gentleman, 60% Scholar

One of the most cohesive and consistent tracks here, there is dreamy kind of mellow groove to this piece. It’s pretty and rather relaxing. It has a lot of jazz in the mix, but also classical and more.

Disc II
                  
A Monument to Compromise (Faux Clarinet)

This is one of the real highlights of the set. It starts off in more world music meets King Crimson styled mellow stuff. It eventually shifts and builds out toward hard rocking stuff that’s rather like Dream Theater. Then it eventually works back down to more world music turned jazz and classical. It builds back out to more rocking territory, eventually getting really intense and rather crazed.  The bass solos and leads it into a new jam. That one is part prog, part Celtic and part space rock. Yet, it continues to evolve from there. Some Primus type sounds serve as a transition and they move back toward Dream Theater territory.

Ninjanuity
Very fusion oriented, this thing has some pretty crazy timing and changes. There are some real Southern music elements here and there. In a lot of ways this makes me think of Dixie Dregs quite a bit. The bass really shines on some parts of this. The changes are often pretty insane, yet they work.
So Say We All I

There are some rather weird sounds on this thing. Yet, it works in a cool fusion prog jam. This is intense and melodic. As it works toward the next piece it gets pretty heavy.

So Say We All II
Some weird metallic elements bring this one. That gives way to a mellower version of itself. It drops back to a rather stripped back and sparse, but playful, section. Eventually it starts to build back out from there. .Space rock and fusion merge as this thing continues to work through.
So Say We All III
Faster paced jamming that merges fusion, world music, classical and even space rock brings this out of the previous piece. This really intensifies as it builds outward. It gets funky at times, heavy at others. It covers quite a bit of ground.
More Than You'll Never Know

Folk music, world and more merge on this jam. It’s one of the more down to Earth things here. Yet, it still gets some definite prog leanings in the mix.

I'll Fight for the Imp

This comes in with world music that’s very Indian in style. By that I’m referring to the Asian country, not Native Americans. It works out into some hard rocking fusion that’s still based on those same world textures. This grows into a killer jam from there. It definitely gets some rocking sections. It also has some rather weird shifts and turns at points.

White People Problems

Fusion and world music emerge on this rather odd, but still captivating piece of music. It’s packed with various changes and differing intensities. I really love some of the melodies that emerge along this road.

Tsim Sha Tsui
More world music than it is anything else, this is an energetic and Asian inspired piece of music.
You Are Disappearing
In a lot of ways, this is the most mainstream and purely melodic tune of the whole disc. It’s also one of my favorites here. It combines prog and fusion in a very palatable package.
 
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