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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Poor Genetic Material

Absence

Review by Gary Hill

This is cool stuff. It's more modern prog, but there are definitely strong leanings toward old school folk prog. This is a varied set with some great musical moments. IT has a nice balance between mellower music and harder rocking stuff, too. All in all, this is a winner.
 
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Track by Track Review
Absence, Pt. 1

Starting mellow, there are moments along this road that make me think of Pink Floyd. Still, this is more of a folk prog kind of excursion with hints of The Moody Blues and the Strawbs. It's a powerful and compelling piece of music. The cut works forward with a jam that's part fusion and part something a bit like Santana, but it still has bits of Pink Floyd and other proggier elements. As it drops back for a guitar solo, I'm definitely reminded of David Gilmour. This is extensive, clocking in at almost thirteen minutes. It's epic in scope, too. It's very compelling and potent.

What If?
This comes in with some more trippy sound. Then it shifts to something a bit like a prog take on stoner metal. The cut isn't content to sit in one place, though. It works to more traditional prog territory later, and the closing movement is particularly effective.
Lost in Translation
Fairly mellow tones bring this to life, and it grows from there. It is another dynamic prog cut. It's perhaps more mainstream prog than some of the rest.
Chalkhill Blues
I dig this tune a lot. The bass line that dances around in the backdrop is exceptional. The cool prog stylings work really well, too. This has a great balance between mellower and more rocking territory. It's the shortest cut here landing at under four minutes in length.
Absconded
Another extended cut, this one is over ten and a half minutes in length. It comes in with a movement that again has some hints of Pink Floyd, but with a more folk prog kind of vibe. Eventually it grows out to a fairly AOR rocking movement. There are a number of changes along the road. A flute over hard rocking movement feels a bit like Jethro Tull. It drops way down to mellower stuff to end.
Absence, Pt. 2
The epic of the set, this is over 18 and a half minutes in length. It comes in mellow and rather trippy and gradually builds forward from there. There are some truly atmospheric moments as this slowly evolves. The piece works to more of a moody modern prog sound for the vocals to enter. It builds outward from there. It makes me think of something like Lands End in a lot of ways. Around the eight and a half minute mark there is an abrupt change to a different mellow prog movement. Then another sharp turn takes it to more atmospherics. As that works forward we get a bit of a groove from the rhythm section. I really like the bass work as this continues to evolve. This just keeps evolving and growing. The later sections again remind me of Lands End in a lot of ways. This evocative music. It's also quite beautiful. It makes its way downward and some electronic sounds take it from there. It never rises back up, but some vocals are heard as this takes it to the end.
 
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