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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Rahul Mukerji

Ma De Re Sha

Review by Gary Hill

This is a particularly strong album. It can be tough to pull off an instrumental disc that never really falters or feels redundant, but that's just what we have here. The mix of sounds are most often centered on fusion, but there is plenty of rock along with world music built into it. I think that the tinkering with balance from song to song is one of the elements that makes this work. No matter the explanation, though, this is an effective set with some impressive guitar playing.

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Track by Track Review
Exit 13

The sounds of radio scanning give way to some guitar playing. The cut builds out from there into a killer combination of fusion and world music sounds. I love the funky bass work that shows up later in the track. This is a particularly effective and expressive number that works through quite a bit of territory.

A mellower musical movement starts this with some flute over the top. As the cut grows outward after the first section it has more of a folk prog sound to it, but there is still plenty of world music and fusion built into the mix, too. As electric guitar screams out later it resembles something like Joe Satriani or Steve Vai.
I dig the Latin vibe on this thing. It has a great combination of traditional Latin music with rock and jazz. There are things about this that make me think of Al Di Meola, but this is even more prog rock oriented than that implies.
Children of I-2
I really love the intricate yet rocking guitar work on this thing. It's a perfect blending of guitar hero styled playing with a fusion element. This is just such a great cut. It's on fire.
A Path Less Travelled
The sounds of a gentle storm are incorporated into this cut. The guitar playing on this is mellow, but complex and intricate. There is great use of harmonics here.
Some cool electric guitar with a metallic edge and world music melodies opens this number. That holds it for the first forty seconds or so. Then they bring it out into a world music laced melodic fusion jam. The guitar solos over the top of it with some great melodic lines of sound. This has some particularly tasty guitar soloing.
Ma De Re Sha
Coming in much mellower, the melody lines on this make me think of "House of the Rising Sun" just a bit on the opening section. There is some world music in the mix on that segment. The cut shifts from there, working to more of a rocking fusion jam to carry it forward. There is some stellar guitar soloing here.
Train Ride from Siliguri
This comes in tentatively and quite slow. The stringed instrumentation drops away after the half minute mark. Then percussion takes over for a time. The other instruments come into the mix after a time, and it works to a world music infused bit of fusion that is somewhat mellow and quite melodic.

Percussion brings this one into being. World elements rise up from there. Some scorching electric guitar heralds the transition to serious hard rocking stuff. Yet there is still plenty of world sound woven into this musical tapestry. This thing gets almost metallic at times. This really screams in some of the most decidedly rock based playing of the whole disc.

Hope Anew
Melodic rock merged with fusion creates the basic concept here. I like the contrast between the mellower and more rocking parts of the tune.
Event Horizon
I love the mellow intricacies of this piece. This never rises to rocking, but it has an energy and drive to it. 
While this still has plenty of world music and fusion in the mix, it's a driving, hard hitting rocker. It has a bit of space rock vibe in some ways. I love the bass driven dropped back movement later. There is some downright metallic jamming after the three minute mark. This is one of the strongest tunes, making it a great choice to close the set. That said, after about ten seconds or so of silence, we get what sounds like a little child shouting something.
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