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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Gleb Kolyadin

Gleb Kolyadin

Review by Gary Hill

This is a pretty impressive set. It is progressive rock, with an emphasis on piano, but there is a lot of range here. We get things that are almost jazz. There are bits that are full classical piano. Some things call to mind modern Marillion (guest appearances by Steve Hogarth don't hurt there). At other points it seems a lot like ELP. The majority of this is instrumental, but there are a few songs with vocals. All in all, this is an entertaining ride that is quite effective.

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
Insight
There is a bit of a classical edge to the piano that starts this cut. Eventually it grows out to something that's along the lines of a jazzy ELP-styled arrangement. Before the two minute mark synthesizer rises up to steer the cut into an intriguing variant.
Astral Architecture
Starting with sedate piano, that instrument holds the arrangement by itself for a while. Vocals (guest Mick Moss) join as the only other element around the minute and a half mark. The cut works forward from there in an artsy kind of musical arrangement with drums eventually added. A full prog arrangement takes over for a while. It drops to piano based stuff before working back out to full prog again.
White Dawn
While there are some prog elements in the arrangement at times, overall this is a classically based piano dominated number.
Kaleidoscope
A powerhouse, piano dominated, progressive rock meets fusion jam is the order of things here. Again, I'm reminded a bit of ELP. During the drop back around the two minute mark there are some soaring female vocals that are rather operatic and non-lyrical. I'm reminded a bit of the vocals from the "Star Trek" theme. The music works through a number of shifts and transitions over the course of this section. It returns to the "song proper" beyond that point. It shifts to an intriguing flute laden jam after that segment. The synthesizer solo that takes over next is a killer. The whole thing really grooves in some smoking hot prog ways as it works onward. It drops back to piano around the five minute mark and flute and other instruments help the piano take things out in style.
Eidolon
A piano solo brings this in with an energetic, classically based arrangement. It drops down around the 45- second mark. While it works through some changes, it remains a piano solo.
Into the Void
More rocking, but still classically tinged piano soloing begins this. It gets some world music in the mix, and eventually moves to a bit fuller, jazz meets classical arrangement. This gets pretty freaky in a prog build up right before the ending.
The Room
A driving jazz prog kind of arrangement is on the menu here. It drops to a piano solo section mid-track and then powers back up to a world music based prog jazz jam that's on fire. The saxophone further down the road is magical.
Confluence
Piano serves the backdrop for a voice (provided by special guest Steve Hogarth) that makes me think of the ehoey, understated kind of things you might hear on a Pink Floyd album. In fact, this whole opening segment really does make me think of Pink Floyd quite a bit. This song evolves through an extended instrumental section, at times getting more into that jazzy ELP kind of thing without really powering up. After the seven and a half minute mark (this cut is almost ten and a half minutes long) it does start rocking out a bit more. The piano really shines when it drops down again. Somehow I'm reminded of a proggier "Riders on the Storm" just a little. Still, the jazz and prog elements continues to steer it in different directions.
Constellation / The Bell
The opening section of this is a piano solo, but the second half gets into some pretty freaky territory. That starts with a bit of backwards tracking and then gets reinforced with banshee-like female vocals conveying a ghostly element over the top of trippy space music.
Echo / Sigh / Strand
A piano solo starts things here. The cut works out to more of that ELP-like sound from there as it develops. Another classical piano section takes it as an interlude. The cut grows out from there to some seriously rocking stuff.
Penrose Stairs
Classical piano starts this and gets re-envisioning in a prog rock landscape as the piece continues. There are a number of shifts in rapid-fire succession from prog rock to jazz to classical piano. If you don't like where this cut is, just wait and try again. The closing section is the longest lasting, a killer jazz prog jam. Still, even that has some changes.
Storyteller
This is another powerhouse prog instrumental. I love the synthesizer work late in the piece in particular. I'm guessing that it's guest Jordan Rudess.
The Best of Days
The closing number is one of a few with vocals. It's a slow moving and a bit more modern prog cut. I would say that it reminds me a bit of Marillion. I suppose that makes sense since Steve Hogarth returns on this track. This is evocative and building, while remaining reasonably mellow.
 
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