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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

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Terra Incognita

Review by Gary Hill

This album is a new reissue of an album from 1991. The music here ranges from classical to more pure prog, but there are things like African tribal sounds and more here. It really is a diverse and effective set of music. In some ways it makes me think of Mike Oldfield.

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
A Brand New Day

This is great stuff. It has a lot of classical music built into it. Add in some definite prog, and something that feels a bit like the soundtrack to a Western movie and you’ll have the basic idea behind this powerful instrumental. It really does feel new, fresh and full of possibilities, like a “brand new day.”

Poem För Vandrare
The female vocals make me think of Annie Haslam a bit. The lyrics are not in English, though. There is a lot of classical music here. It has some world music, too. It’s a cool tune. It’s mellower than the opener in the early sections but has some energy for sure. It gets more on the electronic side as it works forward, too. The instrumental break is powered up and intense prog jamming. When they bring it back to the vocal movement, it has more intensity than it did before. It drops down at the end, though.
Didn't You Notice
This instrumental is much more of a mainstream progressive rock thing. That said, there is a lot of classical music built into this.
Where There Is A Shadow There Is A Light
The vocals here again call to mind Haslam a bit. They are in English, though. In a lot of ways this cool prog cut makes me think of Magenta. There is a good balance between mellower and harder rocking stuff. There is also a good mix of instrumental and vocal sections.
Winds of Autumn
This instrumental is intricate and quite beautiful. It has a lot of classical music built into it.
Terra Incognita
At almost 21 and a half minutes, this is an epic piece. Atmospheric textures are matched with bits of radio stuff as this starts. Eventually the piece shifts to a mellow (and rather melancholy) movement that has a definite classical tone. Eventually we’re taken to a tribal kind of thing, complete with chanting and more. It builds from there after a while. By around the eight minute mark it drops to atmospherics with tribal percussion. After a time that percussion drops away and the cut gets more of a classical basis as it evolves. Piano really drives this section. It works to more pure prog as it builds. It gets intense, but then drops away. Classical music brings it up from there. Before it gets to the 16 minute mark it works to a pretty balladic melody with acoustic guitar and piano both featuring prominently. It continues to evolve from there. More classical styled sounds take it for a time. Then it fires out into powerhouse progressive rock. Some non-lyrical vocals come across for a bit. That movement is distinctly rock oriented, but has definite classical elements. It eventually takes the piece to its end.
 
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