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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Epitaph

Fire from the Soul

Review by Gary Hill

Based on the band name and album cover, I almost expected a heavy metal disc. There are definitely heavy metal elements here. There is also a lot of mainstream rock. Still, overall, I think this lands in the arena of AOR based prog. This is quite a cool and rather unique set of music however you classify it, though.

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
Nightmare

Melodic sounds open this in a rather balladic way. The cut grows out from there to something with more meat and crunch. It’s almost metal in some ways. This makes me think of Uriah Heep in a lot of ways. It gets more proggy in some of the later stuff, particularly some of the instrumental breaks.

The Way It Used to Be
While there is a bit of a metal edge to this, the cut is more of a mainstream AOR prog sound. I like it a lot. It also makes me think of Uriah Heep a bit, too, but also of something like Asia. There are some Beatles like elements here, too. At times this makes me think of The Syn, too. A later movement is full on prog with some psychedelia built into it.
Fighting in the Street
There is a great mix of metal and prog on this thing. I suppose you could call it technical metal, but I think it lands a little further on the prog side than that indicates. What you can say with certainty is that this is high energy and a great tune. In fact, it’s really one of the highlights of the set.
No One Can Save Me
World music, prog and hard rock all merge on this effective piece. It’s not one of my favorites, but I like it quite a bit.
Any Day
There is a lot of Beatles sound here. This makes me think of Uriah Heep a bit, too. It’s another cool melodic rocker. It has some world music and does land in prog territory overall.
Man Without a Face
The opening segment here is a great prog rock jam. That eventually morphs into something that again reminds me of Uriah Heep. There are some hints of Dire Straits in this, along with some Celtic elements. Tempest (the Celtic prog band) would be a valid reference point, too. This rocker is classy.
Fire from the Soul
This proggy power ballad (the first half, anyway) definitely makes me think of The Syn. Yet, it does have some metallic moments, too. It’s quite intricate and involved in a lot of ways. Around half way through it turns out to a rocking jam that’s part Celtic rock, part prog and part metal. As the end approaches, piano takes control for a short time. Then a bit of metallic rock comes in to take the song to its close.
Spark to Start a Fire
This sounds very much like a harder rocking Syn to me. It’s a good tune, but not a highlight of the set.
Love Child (Bonus Track)
While there is more metal on this, it lands more in the neighborhood of AOR prog. Personally, I think this could have taken the place of something like “No One Can Save Me” in the album proper. Then again, when the disc just comes with “bonus tracks” what makes the album proper?
Sooner or Later
This is more of a ballad. It has a lot of Beatles in it. There is some world music here, too. I like the vocal hooks a lot.
Rondo AllaTurca
Classical music and metal merge on this introduction to this short instrumental.
One of These Days
There is a stripped back metal arrangement for the verses. The chorus is catchy, but still metal, too. If the whole album were like this, I’d land this set under metal.
Nightmare (Radio Edit)
This radio edit of the opening tune is full on prog. If anything, I’d say it works better in this format than it does on the full length version. The magic is just better self-contained.
 
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