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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Darryl Way

Myths Legends & Tales

Review by Gary Hill

Darryl Way is best known as a violinist. He is also famous as one of the founding members of Curved Air. This album shows there is a lot more to him than those things. Here he does absolutely everything. This is a progressive rock masterpiece, really. It’s an album that’s packed with both instrumental works and vocal ones. It runs the gamut from classical music to fusion, mainstream rock, prog and more. It will probably land in my “best of 2016” list.

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
Apollo (Racing Against the Sun)

This makes me think of The Who in some ways. It’s more psychedelic and prog based, though. There are definitely elements of space rock. This is a really cool prog jam. It’s AOR in a way, but it also has some cool shifts and changes that are often unexpected. There are some particularly soaring moments here. I’m reminded of UK at times.

Orpheus and the Underworld
This powerhouse has a lot of classical elements at its core. It also works to some rather Celtic sounding things. Yet, it’s all built upon some intense, fast paced progressive rock. This instrumental is a scorching hot tune with a real emphasis on melody.
Whatever Happened
More mainstream AOR styled prog, this is classy stuff. There are enough shifts and changes for the prog purists to gravitate toward it, while the vocal hooks and general structure bring it into the more accessible zone. This makes me think of UK a bit, perhaps along with Asia and more.
Dove of Peace
Psychedelia and more make their way into this. There is a bit of a weird jazz kind of vibe here in some ways. This is a fun rocker that is fairly mainstream. At the same time, it’s unexpected.
Strange Goings On
The early sections of this make me think of Genesis quite a bit. The cut really shifts and changes. It has some particularly powerful progressive rock. This has accessible hooks, but is a fairly complex number. The instrumental section on this is among the best here, combining prog, fusion and more.
Aphrodite

This instrumental is quite pretty. There is a lot classical music in it. It has a bit of a dreamy quality. The piano is one of the main features here. This is mellower than some of the rest of the music. It’s no less powerful, though.

The Ice Man
There is a lot of classical music in this mellower number. It’s a prog ballad with a lot of great elements at play. It’s quite pretty and powerful.
Crusader
Mellow prog is the idea here, too. That said, this really gets into some soaring territory. It makes me think of some of ELPs more ballad-like material in a lot of ways.
Helter Skelter
Despite sharing a title with it, this is not a cover of the Beatles song. Instead this is an original prog piece that makes me think of King Crimson quite a bit. It’s bouncy, jazz and very cool.
Prometheus Chained
This (mostly) instrumental is a powerful one. There are things here that make me think of Genesis. There are other elements that call to mind Pink Floyd a bit. The symphonic bit of weirdness mid-track even reminds me of the soundtrack to “Psycho.” This is a bombastic powerhouse that’s very cool. Around the six minute mark, it drops to more soundtrack like sounds. A spoken vocal recitation comes over the top as it moves forward from there.
 
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