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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Three Wise Monkeys

Progetto Arte

Review by Gary Hill

I consider this album to be prog rock. I’m sure there are plenty of prog purists who will disagree, but honestly, I can’t see it fitting anywhere else. Sure, it lands close to the shoegaze end of the spectrum a lot of the time. That’s prog, though. Besides that, there are things that make me think of Rush, other things that bring it in the vicinity of fusion and a lot more. Whatever you call it, though, this is great stuff.

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
Islands

This comes in noisy and tentative, but also quite spacey. It launches out into some killer jamming that’s part shoegaze, part space rock and part punk. There is a bit of an electronic edge, but a real furious rocking sound is the predominate thing. This works through a number of changes. It lands near metal at a point or two. There are some soundbite spoken bits of radio chatter over the top at some points.

Panopticon
A killer prog rock jam opens this. They work through several various movements and changes as it continues. Parts of this retain that prog element while other things bring it into the vicinity of metal and alternative rock at various times. There are even leanings toward fusion at points.
Shoegazer
Loud, pounding and powerful, this has some metal elements. Really, though, that shoegaze type label applies pretty well. It’s another killer instrumental cut. There are drop backs to mellower music. There is also a section that lands in the neighborhood of soaring psychedelia.
Unboxing
Bass opens this in a cool solo. From there they move towards alternative rock styled jam band sounds before moving into a very fusion-like jam. They drop it back for a time before moving back to the fusion. Then it gets powered up into a jam that’s part Rush, part fusion and part guitar hero. That takes the piece to the end.
Horsemen of the Apocolypse
The rhythm section on the opening section here reminds me of 90s era King Crimson. The music over the top, though, is more pure fusion. As the jamming evolves there are moments that are closer to metal. Still, the bulk of this piece is in a driving fusion type of sound.
River, Desert, Wind, Mountain
Coming in fairly tentative and quite proggy, this shifts to a smoking hot jam.
Vanitas
Fast paced and technical, this is a killer cut. It works through several changes. If I had to describe it with one phrase, it would be thrashy instrumental fusion prog.  Distinct sections take it in different directions, but it’s still a cohesive cut. There are moments that are a bit like Rush. The mellower drop back and ensuing build up are very much jazz.
Asomatous
Working quite a wide range of sounds, this is overall fusion. It starts with mellower, more melodic material. It builds out from there into a pounding fusion jam. Eventually it shifts towards heavy metal territory. It’s a real powerhouse jam.
Bluebox
I love the bass that starts this. They work out to serious fusion from there. At times it works towards more metallic stuff. The drop backs on this song all give us more funky bass. There are things here that definitely make me think of Primus, but there are also things that call to mind King Crimson.
Gravitas
This comes in mellow and rather dramatic. It builds out from there. As this gets more intense there are hints of neo-classical textures. It’s also got plenty of shoegaze built into it along with a metallic edge. Yet, the overall feel is fusion.
Noob
The bass starts this. They work out into a real jam band kind of thing from there. Yet, it’s still very much a fusion piece. There is some fairly crazed jamming here. Yet, it never seems to lose control.
Terminus
This leads off with some of the mellowest music here. As the piece evolves, it grows into a driving powerhouse jam.
 
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