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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Mleo

Sunken City

Review by Gary Hill

This is such an intriguing set. Not everything here is progressive rock. Yet, pretty much everything here has some progressive rock built into it. When you add in the wide range of sounds being pulled together, I just can’t see landing this anywhere else. All that said, no matter what you call it, this is quite a magical album, really. It’s unique and captivating.

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
Bury Me There

This starts in alternative rock territory. It works out after a short time to something with hints of jazz. The verses are more in line with modern pop music. The choruses, though, are purely modern progressive rock. This is a soaring cut that’s quite exceptional. The ending gets some seriously crunchy guitar.

Round Two (If You Feel It)
Jazz is really driving this in terms of both the guitar and the vocal lines. This is energized and very cool. This arrangement is fun. It has a lot of soul and funk built into it. It’s also got quite a few twists and turns.
Paralyzed
There are more playful jazzy bits built into this. Yet, it gets contrasted with more dramatic, mellower, proggy sections. There are some seriously soaring bits of vocals on this cut, too.
Intermleoude 1 (Spaz)
This instrumental is a hot rocking number. It’s full of shifts and turns. It’s pure progressive rock with an emphasis on rock. That said, crazed fusion is another element at play here.
Change Your Mind
I love this song. It’s full of cool turns this way and that. Yet, it flows like a standard song in so many ways. This is without question modern progressive rock. It’s also one of the highlights of the set for me. I love the jamming that shows up later in the track, too.
Hemlock Smile
Funk, fusion and a lot more is heard on this killer cut. It’s definitely proggy. It has a great balance between harder rocking sounds and mellower ones. The drop back mid-track is particularly prog rock based.
How I Feel
This starts playful, mellow and quite delicate. The vocals come in over that backdrop with a really gentle approach. This stays fairly consistent in that approach. It’s a bit folk-like in some ways. It’s a pretty song.
Intermleoude 3 (Hmmm)
This is another amazing piece. It has some sections that make me think of mid-period Genesis. There is also plenty of fusion in the mix here. This has some non-lyrical vocals, but otherwise is an instrumental. It has a more mainstream rocking jam at the end.
Normal Guy
Pop rock, jazz and more merge on this energetic and slightly off-kilter song. The guitar soloing later in the piece feels like something out of the 1970s. This is another amazing cut.
Sunken City
Folk music, reggae, modern pop rock and more are merged on this cool tune. It’s one of the mellower ones, but it has some harder rocking proggy stuff, too.
Intermleoude 4 (Jaws)
This is a slow moving jazzy cut. It has a trippy kind of vibe to it. It’s different from the previous “Intermleoude” cuts because it has vocals.
Hype Song
There are plenty of soaring elements to this thing. Yet, it also has some raps. This is like space rock meets prog and hip hop if that makes sense. The killer jam later features some great bass work and other cool instrumental excursions. There is some killer guitar soloing further down the musical road, too.
Intermleoude 2 (Pork)
This is kind of a playful jazz cut. It’s a lot of fun. It has some singing, and talking, but male, not female and really not lyrical.
Stone
Mellow sounds with the vocals over the top open this. The cut works from there, remaining quite sedate at first. Yet, the vocals are almost soaring over the top of that mix. It works from there eventually into harder rocking music that pushes forward in fine fashion. It eventually crescendos and drops back down at the end to for a mellower closing section.
Surrounded in Blue
The music here is mellow, but also very intricate. This features sort of a duet between male and female voices. It’s a bit more of a mainstream rock based cut, but there is jazz and this is proggy enough to keep it from being full rock.
 
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