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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Thomas Nordland

Divide Avenue

Review by Gary Hill

This is an instrumental album. It’s also mostly fusion, but there are other elements at play, too. Still, we generally include fusion under prog rock at Music Street Journal. There is a decent range of sounds here, and the album holds the interest of the listener throughout. If you like tasty fusion, you will like this.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2016  Volume 2 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Divide Avenue

There is a real mellow blues rock meets country kind of vibe to this cut. I love the slide guitar work on the piece, but everything works well. It’s a tasty slab of Americana, really.

Whiskey Rumination
A bluesy jam, this has some great retro textures. It’s a slow one, but it just oozes cool. It features some great instrumental work and tones.
Whispering Son
The keyboards really shine on this killer number. It’s pure fusion meets space. It’s vintage in sound and yet also rather fresh. It does get more intense later with some pretty smoking guitar work.
Ensenada Nights
I love the keyboard jamming on this tune. The piece is very much a fusion number. It has some smoking hot guitar work, too. It’s just such a cool number in so many ways.
Rilke In The Rain
Here we are brought back into the Americana territory. There is still jazz built into this thing, though. It’s a slow burner, really. It’s echoey and quite tasty.
Wandering Daughter
In some ways this is a rock cut. In others, though, particularly the bass driven movement mid-track, this is very much pure jazz. It’s another killer cut that works through a number of shifts and changes while managing to maintain a groove throughout.
Iron John
Combining jazz, fusion and more, this instrumental cut even feels a bit like Pink Floyd at times to me. Still, it’s more jazz and fusion that is anything else.
Sagatagan
This is a bass heavy cut at the start in a lot of ways. Some of the melodies in that eearly section seem very familiar to me, but I can’t place why. Some of that movement makes me think of some of Steve Howe’s solo work. There is a country element to it, but it’s more like a bluesy, fusion kind of jam. The percussion heavy jam mid-track gets into psychedelic territory and definitely makes me think of early Pink Floyd. Slide guitar begins to dominate as it turns to some seriously hot bluesy jamming over the top. It gets quite powerful and intense as it continues. It drops back down after that section to more of a country based rock exploration that’s part space rock and part fusion.
 
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