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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Sonic Sight

Anthropology

Review by Gary Hill

This new album is a concept disc. It's essentially a science fiction tale and quite an interesting one at that. They do a nice job of telling the tale while still keeping sight of creating powerful music. This is a blend of progressive rock that sits somewhere between modern and classic prog sounds. All in all, this is a great disc.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2018  Volume 2 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Prologue
There is some radio chatter back and forth in a theatrical sort of theme. Piano is the backdrop of this thing. It fades out mid-dialogue.
Party

A harder rocking, more mainstream progressive rock vibe opens this and drives it forward. I dig the keyboard work on this intriguing piece. The vocals are the first sung ones of the set. The piece has plenty of prog changes and some intriguing old school progressive rock sound. This segues into the next number.

Fall
More of a moody, mellower motif is on hand here. This is perhaps more aligned with modern prog than the previous cut was. I love the percussive elements here. There are some parts of this that make me think of Peter Gabriel quite a bit, but there are also comparisons to be made to Marillion. The instrumental section that fires out later brings it into soaring territory. While it drops back a bit for a time, it powers back out into some more powerhouse progressive rock from there.
War
This is another hot progressive rocker. There are parts of this that make me think of the recent Styx masterpiece The Mission. This cut includes some powerhouse guitar work, but every instrument shines on this number. It's an ever shifting cut that just really shines. Suitably the sounds of an explosion end "War."
Escape

Classical piano enters and guides this track forward. It turns a bit jazzy, but the piano serves as the only accompaniment for this first vocals, creating a real artsy sound. The tune explodes into a more full progressive rock arrangement as it works forward from there. This is quite a dynamic and powerful cut really. At almost nine-minutes of music, it's also somewhat of an epic.

Refugee
While this is far from a straight-line cut, it's a bit more mainstream AOR prog than the previous number was. There are some cool changes along the road, though. I really love the keyboard dominated instrumental section on this thing.
Assassin
A harder rocking piece, this still manages to be fully progressive rock. There are mellower sections that alternate with the harder edged ones. Those hard rocking movements have processed spoken vocals that feel downright evil.
Method
This piece is more melodic. There is a soaring prog power and majesty to it. There is a beauty and elegance that's so cool. In fact, this is one of my favorites here.          
Doldrums
This instrumental really makes me think of something Genesis might have done in the period toward the end of Gabriel's tenure. It's a classy number.
Endgame
In start contrast, the riff that opens this feels like Iron Maiden. The cut fires out from there to more of a pure prog rock vibe. It shifts out to a rather trippy prog rock section mid-track. It settles into a percussion showcase for a short time. Then it powers out to more killer modern prog from there. That resolves into something a bit like Genesis before dropping back to just keyboards. They rebuild it a bit from there, but the keys remain the driving force. In fact, unaccompanied keyboards take this to the end.
Epilogue
This comes in with a powerful restatement of earlier musical concepts. It has some very triumphant prog vibes. There are comparisons to be made with the works of both Rick Wakeman and Alan Parsons. It drops to a mellower, more intricate ballad-like section and begins to grow outward from there. This instrumental number does a great job of wrapping things up in style.
 
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