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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Leroy Powell and the Messengers

The Overlords of the Cosmic Revelation

Review by Gary Hill

This album is extremely strong. It has quite a wide range from country inspired rock to psychedelia and a lot more. It never feels boring or redundant. It also never fails to be effective. It’s just a strong set from one end to the other.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2016  Volume 1 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Weightlessness

This is a bit like a ballad in terms of the acoustic guitar parts. The overlayers, though, land it more in the vein of mellow space rock. There are bit of space radio chatter. Some cool theremin or keyboards (or perhaps both) drifts over the top of this. The opening cut really is exceptional space rock.

Time Flies
This tune is a particularly effective rocker with a lot of country music in the mix. It’s fresh, but also traditional. It’s very strong, too.
King Kong
A smoking hot bluesy rocker, this really has a 1970s vibe. It feels like something Joe Walsh might have done in his hey day to me.  It does get a parental advisory on the lyrics. That said, it’s one of the best songs here.
The Overlords of the Cosmic Revelation
The title track is another amazing tune. It’s packed with hard rock, prog and psychedelia. It’s a magnum opus with some real magic packed within.
Rising
More of a vintage hard rocker, in some ways this makes me think of Kiss. Yet there are still some proggy overlayers here. Whatever you call this, though, it is a pounding, stomping number that’s both catchy and quite meaty. More of that radio chatter emerges on this cut. There is a bit of weird electronics at the end.
Brave New World
Starting percussive, this works out to a mellow proggy piece. It’s definitely got some space rock built into it.
Lost in the Future
This piece is very much a progressive rock number. It has some more mainstream rock moments, but the arrangement and song structure are both powerful and complex. It has a soaring kind of vibe in a lot of ways, too.
Liz
I love the killer drum work on this piece. It pounds out and really drives it. That said, there is so much going on here. There are hard edged, fierce rocking moments, but also mellow drop backs. This is another that’s very space rock oriented.
Brainscan
Space rock, world music and more seem to merge as this mellow cut moves slowly forward. It’s an instrumental.
Star
Mellow psychedelia merges with proggy elements here. This is another great cut and a different side to the sound.
Death Machine
Psychedelic rock merges with proto prog in another killer song. This has almost a gospel kind of vibe at times. Yet, it’s a real rocker. It has a real classic sound, feeling like it could have been a product of the late 1960s. I love some of the vocal hooks and the descending riff on the chorus.
Checking Out
Although the main song structure here is built around a mainstream classic rock meets country vibe, there are proggy elements over the top at times. This really feels like something that would have been all over the radio in the 1970s. It’s one of my favorite songs here, making it a great choice to end the album.
 
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