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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Ovrfwrd

Fantasy Absent Reason

Review by Gary Hill

I have to say that the range of sounds on this prog set is incredibly wide. We get everything from classic prog to psychedelia, jazz and things like Dream Theater. It’s all quite effective, too. This is a very strong set.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2015  Volume 6 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Fantasy Absent Reason

A mellow and rather tentative introductory section starts this. It has a bit of a harpsichord sound. After this introduction drums bring a new movement. It comes in feeling a bit like ELP before getting some crunch added to the mix. The result is something that isn’t far removed from Dream Theater. It drops back to some spacier jamming after a time. That section is like fusion turned space rock. The harder rocking movement returns after that. As it drops back again some organ solos over the top. Working forward some smoking hot melodic guitar soloing emerges. It continues to shift and change. There are sections that lean toward fusion. Other parts are metallic. It’s quite a journey no matter the steps along the way, though. I really dig the jazzy piano exploration mid-track. In a steadier kind of progression later, it turns toward serious heavy metal by around the 13 minute mark. This piece is epic in both scope and size, taking up over 16 and a half minutes of the set. It drops to more spacey sounds as it gets closer to the ending, bringing both jazz and almost early Pink Floyd like psychedelia. Eventually some melodic guitar soloing takes over from there.

Brother Jack McDuff
This jam is a lot of fun. It’s part psychedlia, part jazz and all tasty. At just over five minutes in length, it’s one of the shortest cuts here.
Dust Nova
The early parts of this are dreamy, trippy psychedelic space rock with jazz in the mix. It eventually moves into different mellow jazzy stuff. It gets pretty intense as it eventually evolves into something more like classically tinged fusion. It eventually drops back around the eight minute mark to continue forward in mellow fashion. The rest of the track is in a mellow jazzy kind of motif.
Utopia Planitia
I dig the flute on this song. The cut has some great jamming. It lands in the space vicinity at times. It’s often very jazzy and psychedelically inspired. The guitar soloing driving the cut later in the piece is both inspired and very much like the guitar hero stuff of the 1970s. Heavier parts further along the musical trail again make me think of Dream Theater. From there it works out to some dramatic prog rock that’s more melodic. It keeps evolving after that. At points I think “ELP” and at others “Dream Theater.” It gets quite metallic later, too. Piano makes up the closing moments. 
Creature Comforts
At less than four and a half minutes in length, this is the shortest tune of the set. It starts with a mellow, jazzy exploration. A new section emerges from there, still rather jazz-like. It’s a bit understated and spacey, though. This is overall more constant than some of the rest. It’s very much a fusion like piece.
 
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