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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Vowws

The Great Sun

Review by Gary Hill

I don’t know if this is progressive rock or not. It’s certainly got a lot of modern progressive rock built into it. It’s also Gothic and industrial. However you slice it, though, it’s quite strong. It also includes a guest appearance from Gary Numan. All in all, I’d recommend this. It’s an entertaining ride from the start to the finish.

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
The Great Sun

Dark and yet very lush, this is like industrial music combined with modern progressive rock textures. It’s not far removed from things like Porcupine Tree, but with a more crunchy edge.

Against the Gates
I love the industrial sounds that make this groove work. It has a bit of Depeche Mode meets Nine Inch Nails kind of texture. There are some extremely effective vocal melodies here. Those, along with some of the keyboard tones bring the proggy aspects to play.
Holy Youth
There is a bit of a metal edge as this powers outward. It’s a piece that is likely to get the masses o do some head banging as it begins. It drops to something moodier and more like Bauhaus. The cut alternates between those two elements. It’s more of a pure industrial excursion than anything we’ve heard to this point was.
Stranger
The balance between harder rocking stuff and mellower, proggy material on this song is great. The piece has a lot of magic built into it.
Councillor
Somehow this seems more rooted in modern prog than it does in industrial sounds. There are some great melodies and textures here. This is a different kind of tune for sure.
The Only One
I love the moody tones here. This definitely lands at the very least in the vein of dark space rock, if not pure prog. This is such a dramatic tune. One might call it “understated,” but in so many ways there is so much going on here. This is one of my favorites of the disc for sure.
It’s You
This shifts and turns in unusual ways. Is it noisy? Yes. It is industrial, but it’s also very definitely progressive rock. There is a pounding element here, but it’s also fairly slow moving and often a bit restrained. In fact, it almost feels like there is some kind of energy lurking beneath, threatening to come forth, but remaining barely contained.
Losing Myself In You
This piece features a guest appearance by Gary Numan. It definitely has more of that mellower, moodier modern prog element at play. There is industrial here, too. It is a cool rocker with some great shifts.
Crying
Sure, there is an industrial edge here. Overall, though, this is a moody ballad with both psychedelic and progressive elements driving it. It’s one of the most unusual pieces of the disc. It’s also one of my favorites.
The Season
This is a very melodic cut. It is arguably closer to shoegaze than to industrial. It’s catchy, but not one of my favorites here.
Waiting for Me
Industrial music merged with world sounds and more makes up the basis for this cut. It’s not bad, but it’s not all that special either. I think maybe the disc would have been stronger if they’d dropped a few songs. This is just a bit samey.
 
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