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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Herd of Instinct

Manifestation

Review by Gary Hill

Featuring Gayle Ellett of Djam Karet, this band is a great one. This is the third album from them I’ve heard, and I have not been disappointed. Their brand of instrumental prog is pretty amazing. They lean heavily toward fusion, but this is still progressive rock for sure. It’s full of cool changes and incredibly musicianship. You just can’t go wrong with these guys and this album proves it.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2016  Volume 3 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Manifestation, Pt. 2

A fade in gives way to a great prog jam. This is dramatic and powerful with an unusual timing. It feels a lot like fusion, but with a more rock edge to it. There are some cool changes, particularly some Eastern inspired ones and some a bit like King Crimson. Parts of this feel like a very cool soundtrack to an action or science fiction movie.

Gridlock
This comes in screaming hot. The guitar jamming on this is so cool. Yes, it still has plenty of fusion in the mix. Yes, it’s rocking. The guitar soloing even leans toward the metallic at times.
Baba Yaga
Acoustic guitar with bits of space sound over the top starts this. It works through in a much mellower process than the two openers. There is a bit of a creepy vibe here, but it’s also quite pretty. Soundtrack music is a valid comparison here, too. Although the cut intensifies gradually, around the three quarters through mark it really explodes into a hard rocking jam. That takes it up to a short mellower section that ends it.
Manifestation, Pt. 1
The guitar really screams with a melodic abandon on this piece. It’s another that feels a lot like fusion. Yet, it drops back to mellower segments without losing any energy. A flute laden jam later adds a cool touch. More killer guitar soloing later really brings it to another level. It gets into some intense fusion meets King Crimson territory further down the road before closing.
Saddha
Weird spacey effects and sounds bring a trippy, rather psychedelic edge at the start of this. There are spoken bits of sound bite included on this. That holds it in weird fashion for a time. Eventually, though, this powers out into a metal meets prog kind of jam that’s pretty crazy. It continues to grow and evolve from there. It works to more melodic fusion styled jamming for a time before going back to the metal meets prog movement. Voices return at the end.
Nocturne
Mellow and atmospheric, this has a trippy kind of symphonic vibe to it. It’s a short piece.
Dybbuk
This has mellower, movements that are spacey prog. It has sections that are more powered up fusion. Some powered up melodic prog is heard, too. It even works toward space metal at times. It’s a cool cut.  There is even a drop to a movement that feels a bit like Americana in some ways. There is a building pattern around the four minute mark that really makes me think of Red era King Crimson.
Time and Again
There is a bit of atmosphere at the start. That gives way to a rubbery kind of modern prog groove that feels a lot like King Crimson. Some organ lends some retro texture. Some violin soloing over the top brings a different element. This gets some jazz built into it as it carries forward, too. The closing jam is particularly effective.
Shatterpoint
This comes in with atmospherics. Drums take control and some soundbites are heard. Then some funk courtesy of the rhythm section emerges. The piece moves more toward modern King Crimson sounds, but blended with that funk and some fusion. Keyboards bring more melodic prog, but that edginess still remains. The musical explorations continue with style as the piece works its way through.
Waterfalls and Black Rainbows
The shifting arrangement here always rocks. At times it’s closer to fusion. At times it more straight ahead rock. The end result is killer instrumental prog that has plenty of surprises.
 
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