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Progressive Rock CD Reviews


Entre As Estrelas

Review by Gary Hill

This is an instrumental album from a Brazilian band. There are three songs here. The opener and closer are both in rather standard prog range in terms of length. The middle piece, though is a massive epic that is close to an hour in length. The music here is decidedly progressive rock with a lot of classical elements. This is quite a dynamic and diverse set that works really well.

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Track by Track Review
P├ętala de Sangue
Keyboards bring this into being, feeling a bit like something that would fit in a John Carpenter movie score. It works out from there to a cool symphonic prog sound. As it grows outward I'm reminded of both ELP and Yes quite a bit. There are some intriguing changes, with it taking on almost fusion like sounds at times. It keeps shifting and changing. Some flute later calls to mind Jethro Tull a bit. There are some non-lyrical voices later, but I think they are samples. There is a lot of powerful music here, getting into some seriously bombastic symphonic prog territory at times.
Entre as Estrelas

Clearly this is the epic of the set. It's over 50 minutes long - that's right, close to an hour. It is broken up into separate pieces or movements, making it more of a suite, but it's tracked as one piece on the disc. Ambient keyboards lead this out of the gate. It turns toward the symphonic before some soaring guitar joins bringing it into more rocking territory. As it approaches the two minute mark they shift out into a killer groove that has a lot of jazz built into it. It's a bit like Ian Anderson meets ELP as the flute dances over the top of the arrangement.

As with the opener, this is packed full of changes, keeping it fresh as it winds its way through. While there are parts of this that make me think of Yes a bit, overall it's a bit more symphonic and fusion oriented for that comparison to stick for long. I dig the drop back to a mellower old world flute driven motif after the three minute mark. The guitar that rises up from there is particularly melodic and evocative. As it continues it turns toward sounds that are almost like a rock treatment on a classical piece. After the five minute mark it drops way down for another flute led exploration. Coming back up from there we're taken into some particularly soaring territory. A shift seems ready to take it into hard rocking sounds, but instead it drops way down for another classically inspired movement.


There are hints of rocking as that continues, but then they take it out into a killer classic prog meets fusion jam. They expand upon that musical concept as they drive forward. They take this whole thing through several changes from there. It crescendos around the eight and a half minute mark. They restart things with a mellower, keyboard driven section. It powers upward as it continues and eventually works out to another fast paced prog rock jam that is so cool.


There is some soaring guitar work after the 10 and a half minute mark. An ELP like movement takes it after that. Then they drop way down toward more of an olde world sounding section to continue. They bring that forward adding more to the mix as they do so. More shifts ensue, getting harder rocking for a time before moving to something more symphonic as it drops back down. It moves toward more of a symphonic prog rocking jam from that point. The changes continue working this through all kinds of different movements. There is a resolution section after the 16 minute mark. A movement that's keyboard based, but also symphonic bridges the gap to the next segment. Fast paced jamming that has a lot of both fusion and progressive rock in it emerges to move the piece onward.


After a time it drops to a mellower movement with some cool bass work from there. It works gradually upward from there, remaining more melodic for a time. Then a crunchy guitar enters around the 19 minute mark. Flute comes across bringing back the Tull comparison. That doesn't stay around long, though. Instead the cut makes its way to more of a keyboard based jam as this continues to drive onward. They bring in more guitar emphasis as this continues to hold the piece.

A cool fusion type jam emerges after a while. Then some more of that Tull influence is heard as they drive onward from there. The changes continue as this shifts and turns in different directions. It culminates in a crescendo after the 22 minute mark. Then a mellower motif rises up from there. That ends with a chime sound around the 23 and a half minute mark. Then a new harder rocking prog jam takes over from there. That crescendoes around the 24 minute mark. Keyboards lead it into a powerhouse prog jam from that point.


Around the half way point it drops to an olde world music section that works through for a time. A burst of crunchy guitar signals the end of that movement. Then some intricate acoustic guitar rises upward along with piano to lead the next section. It evolves into more of a traditional melodic prog sound from there.


In the territory of the 28 minute mark it powers out into a killer fast paced prog jam that is just so cool. That works through and they take it into some more olde world inspired stuff before getting back into more Tull like stuff. The piece continues to evolve from there working into more prog rock jamming as it continues.


Around the 32 and a half minute mark some keyboard based stuff takes over, and the piece begins to work out from there. As this shifts and changes there is some more Tull like stuff. There is also a bit of a percussion workout. All of that is before it moves to more of a melodic section. It continues to shift and change until a crescendo after the 36 and a half minute mark.


Bleeping, robotic sounding keyboard textures come up from the silence. It shifts outward to more atmospheric keyboards. Then more classically styled textures emerge to move the piece onward. That peaks around the 38 minute mark and more ambient keys take over. Then a Rick Wakeman like build up emerges before the song explodes outward into some cool new prog rock jamming. We're taken on one heck of a ride as this keeps expanding and shifting. There is definitely a bit of a Yes like element.


By around the 39 minute mark, though, it's turned toward more keyboard based stuff not far removed from Vangelis or Synergy. That grows as they march forward. Then after the 40 minute mark we're shifted out into more hard rocking prog from there. More changes ensue. A hard rocking jam around the 43 minute mark takes it into more Jethro Tull like stuff.

Around the 44 minute mark there is a noisy keyboard climb that gives way to silence. A somber sounding classically based movement takes over from there. Then it makes its way to a more traditional progressive rock styled jam from there.


This continues to evolve and change. There is a powerhouse prog rock jam that emerges late and holds the piece nicely for a time. That hits a crescendo, and they launch into a killer ELP like jam from there. Once more we're taken through a number of changes as this exploration continues. The closing movement has some great traditional progressive rock stylings and gives way to a dramatic crescendo that serves as the actual closing.

The closing piece of the set is just a bit over five minutes of music. It start with a very medieval type texture. It grows outward with a nice exploration of those types of themes. It's almost half way done before it powers up into any kind of rocking stuff. Even then, it's based on the same classical motifs and drops back down shortly for a return to the mellower stuff. This cut is a lot more cohesive than the previous numbers. It also remains more sedate and purely melodic, making a nice respite from the adventure that has been to this point. It does rock out at times, but overall, this is sort of the grounding piece of the disc. The organ solo section later brings it into some rather jazz like texture. I love the keyboard elements on this piece. They really bring a lot of great melody and drama to it.
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