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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Burnt Belief

Emergent

Review by Gary Hill

This instrumental album is quite interesting. There is a great range of sounds throughout, preventing it from ever feeling monolithic. It has a good helping of fusion, but there is also a lot of King Crimson sound. Other things are heard on the set. This is quite a cool album, really.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2016  Volume 5 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
The Bubble Bursts

This rises up gradually, with some cool atmospheric elements. Somehow it reminds me just a bit of Yes in the early parts. Piano joins after a bit and then the piece starts to turn toward space music before working out into some great progressive rock. Again Yes is not exactly out of the question on the more powered up movement. This is a melodic journey without a lot of shifts and changes. That doesn't mean it's static. In fact, it has definite themes and cycles. It's just that the backdrop is more constant. This reminds me more than anything else of something Pat Metheny might do.

More Snow
There is a definite world music vibe to this thing. It's perhaps a bit closer to something like Al Di Meola. There is suitably a bit of a snowball effect of gradually gaining strength and "oomph." This is melodic and powerful. I suppose Tangerine Dream is sometimes a valid reference here, too, but in so many ways this makes me think of the classic era of Di Meola.
The Confidence of Ignorance
Now, this one gets into more purely adventurous territory. It is a bit on the crazed side with some weird space jamming merged with King Crimson and some things that are closer to Rock In Opposition type music. Yet it never gets weird to the point of losing me. It manages to retain a sense of grounding somehow.
Emergent
The title track merges spacey music with King Crimson type stuff and fusion, too. This has some hints of middle Eastern modes and other world music. I really love the rhythm section grounding this thing. It's a killer jam that makes me think of something Tony Levin might be involved with in a lot of ways. Mid-track it drops back to some real world music turned space.
Until The Stars Go Out
This one is weird. It's mellower and more freeform. It's very trippy and a bit dark. All that said, it's cool.
Language of Movement
I love the groove on the bass part of this piece. There is almost a funky kind of element on this. It's a lot more mainstream than the last couple pieces. This is much more of a fusion number. There are some cool melodies built into this thing.
Turning Torso
A bit of a mellower, introspective kind of thing starts this. It feels pretty trippy early on. Then a killer bass line enters and the piece moves forward from there. As this builds gets more energy, it really has a great groove to it. This gets quite intense for a while. Then it drops way down, and a new movement emerges. At over ten minutes in length, this is the most extensive cut on the disc. It's also one of my favorites.
Ghosts Aquatic
There is rather aquatic vibe to this piece really. It has a rather echoey vibe to it, like waves bouncing about. It is slow moving and quite beautiful. There is a majesty and a grace to this piece. It's one of the prettiest things here. It still has proggy and spacey things, along with some fusion.
 
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