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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Jartse Tuominen

Untold Stories

Review by Gary Hill

The guitar hero type sounds of Joe Satriani and Steve Vai are probably the closest reference point here. This instrumental album lands along the border between rock and fusion. Perhaps it isn’t really prog rock, but we generally put fusion there, and this fits that category pretty well. There is a decent range, and this never become noodly or boring. It’s just great instrumental guitar based music start to finish.

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

Track by Track Review

Featuring some fiery guitar work, this is very much fusion meets hard rock styled music. I love the bass jam later in the track. The drums get to show off a bit, too. This is really well titled, as it is an extraordinary work of music. The keyboard based section mid-track takes it more into pure progressive rock territory, too.

Hybrid Fusion
Starting off a bit more like straight ahead hard rock, this shifts towards fusion pretty quickly. It’s another energetic and melodic tune. It’s definitely more of a mainstream rocker, but it’s also obvious that it’s fusion. There is a cool percussion work out mid-track.
This is much more of a hard rocking tune. Some of the guitar soloing on this beast lands in the neighborhood of heavy metal. Yet, it’s still got some fusion in the mix. This is less intellectual in a lot of ways, but the shifts and changes are still cerebral to some degree.
Time to Go
Mellow textures bring this into being, and acoustic guitar joins bringing some hints of jazz as it does. Before the one minute mark it shifts out to more of a mainstream rock meets evocative fusion jam.
Simppa Goes to Töysä
While this has some scorching hot guitar soloing, it also drops down to a great mellow movement mid-track. There are some cool keyboard textures in place, as well. I really dig the changes and variety on this piece.
Trouble Shuffle
With some country and bluegrass in the mix, this feels a bit like The Dixie Dregs in some ways. It’s also got a real Texas boogie sound and some definite blues. Still, the jazz manages to shine through, as well.
Pretty and evocative, this is a mellower cut at the start. It has a lot of classical music built into it. It’s just packed with emotion. When it turns electric and intensifies, the classical element is still at play, but with a rock and roll power added to it. This is just so cool. It grows with style and passion. It’s one of my favorites here for sure.
Nine Lives
More of a screaming hot rocker, this is again good stuff. It has some intriguing shifts and a killer main riff. I like the vintage organ sound on this cut, too.
Yeah Right
Here we get another great dosage of smoking hot fusion guitar rock. There is some screaming guitar on this track, but also a mellower, proggy keyboard based movement.
This might well have some of the impressive guitar work of the whole disc. The man is on fire here. A cool proggy backdrop lets him solo throughout the duration.
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