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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Tomorrow's Eve

Mirror of Creation III – Project Ikaros

Review by Gary Hill

Prog fans who feel that Dream Theater is metal rather than progressive rock will want to steer clear of this release. It will be their loss, though. This is an incredibly powerful concept album (with apparently is one part of an even larger concept). I can't follow all the ideas of the story here, but it is obvious that threads are woven together. These guys deliver a brand of progressive rock that's almost equal parts heavy metal. Each song is a dynamic ride with peaks and valleys, metal sections and melodic progressive rock ones. While comparisons to Dream Theater are the obvious ones, I can make out other things, including a vague hint of Uriah Heep at times. Whatever you call this, though, it's an amazing set.

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Track by Track Review
Welcome to the Show
Piano leads this out and holds it for a time. Don't get comfortable, though. This screams out into killer fast paced metallic prog. This feels a lot like something from Dream Theater in many ways. I like the hard rocking vocals on the cut. The chorus has a cool hook, but some real metal vibe to it. It drops to a mellower movement around the two minute mark, and then powers up with more of a metallic, but still quite melodic prog based thing from that point. It works back to the frantic stuff. This continues to work between the different sections as it makes its way forward. It is quite a dynamic and powerful ride. It drops to a mellow movement for the final vocal section.

Pounding in with a section that's equal parts heavy metal and progressive rock, this drops after the intro to a mellower movement for the vocals. The shift back and forth between more metal and proggy stuff is in place and working very well here. There are some pretty amazing movements here. This is dramatic and powerful, feeling pretty symphonic at times.

Bread and Circuses
Dream Theater is a valid comparison for the fast paced prog section that starts this. It gets infused with metallic fury as the introduction continues. The vocals come in over the top of a no-less frantic, but decidedly more metallic movement. The cut keeps changing from there, though with some killer prog stuff providing the variants to the more metallic material.
The first section of this is pretty much straight metal. After the first vocal movement, though, it shifts to a mellower prog arrangement for a cool instrumental section. As that works through some changes it gets more powered up but remains decidedly prog based. That leads us back to the song proper for the return of the vocals.
The System
Symphonic elements start this in a decidedly progressive rock oriented arrangement. Piano weaves the melodic textures. It starts to rock a bit as the rhythm section enters and brings an insistent approach. After a short drop back, it shifts to some killer metallic fast paced prog rocking stuff to continue. The vocals come over the top with a screaming metal delivery. They alternate that with a melodic more pure prog approach. While this has so much prog in the mix, there are some of the meatiest metal sections of the set also built into it.
Law and Order
This comes in with a much mellower, intricate and melodic prog approach. A pounding drum section before the one minute mark foreshadows a rise to more rocking stuff. It eventually makes that changeover via a powerhouse fusion meets Dream Theater kind of approach. In some ways this is among the most purely progressive rock stuff here. It does have some metallic edge to it, though. This is another with a lot of shifts and changes. It has some of the most accessible hooks of the disc, too. I love the guitar solo on this. It's more along the melodic metal side.
Dream Within a Dream

Interestingly enough this is the second disc I've reviewed for this issue with a song by this title. I wasn't sure if the other one was based on the Poe work of that title. In this case, it clearly is, as their are direct quotes from it. This really does a great job of balancing a powered up metal fury with the mellower progressive rock vein. This is actually one of my favorite cuts here. It's quite accessible and still very meaty. There is a cool section later in the piece where a decidedly prog rock based jam is replaced by something that's clearly metal. Then the two sounds seem to merge as the jamming continues. That runs through before dropping back to give them a chance to move back into the song proper.


Hard rocking and processed instrumental sounds open this with a fast paced prog jam that's very cool. Crunchy guitar enters as it continues to build and evolve. It drops to a bit more of an AOR sound for the vocal section. This gets pretty metallic as it works outward from there. There some pretty crazed movement as this continues to shift and change. It's one of the most dynamic things here with all kinds of twists and turns. At times it leans more toward metal. At times it's decidedly prog rock based. It's all potent.

Inner Sanctum

The opening section here is a mellower one with the bass really creating some intriguing moments. It powers out from there to fierce metallic prog. Then it drops down after the introduction works through for the vocals. This is a more decidedly progressive rock based piece in a lot of ways, leaning on the melodic side of things. I love the bass work on the cut. This song has some powerhouse Dream Theater like jamming built into it for sure, though. The section around the three minute mark takes it into more metallic territory, though. In fact, it reminds me a bit of some of the stuff on Queensryche's Operation: Mindcrime album. It resolves from there to the more melodic stuff, though. There is a processed spoken voice during a frantic jam near the end. It winds up the last remaining thing as it says, "reboot now," after the music is gone.

Somnium Ex Machina

Starting with something decidedly progressive rock like this works to some killer riff driven guitar led stuff. It drops down a bit for the entrance of the vocals. As this continues there are some killer metallic movements. Yet those are alternated with the sections of more melodic prog stuff. All in all, this is another powerhouse that walks the fence between prog and metal. This also includes a lyrical excerpt from "A Dream Within a Dream." The metallic prog grind around the five minute mark is cool. It drops to a piano and voice section from there, but then fires back out into the song proper for a melodic movement.

Gods Among Each Other

An atmospheric section starts this, but they fire out into some killer metal jamming from there. That works through and then drops downward to a keyboard based section. Then a different riff based movement, this one staccato, takes over. Keyboards weave melodies over the top. It drops to a mellow arrangement for the vocals. The cut continues by building back upward. It alternates between these more sedate, melodic movements and the more powered up metallic ones. This is another dynamic and particularly powerful cut. This also includes links to Poe's work. This has some of the most effective music of the whole disc. There really is a feeling of a satisfactory conclusion to the piece. It feels like it wraps things up in terms of the emotional and musical themes of the whole set. At the end of the track an alarm clock signals waking the dreamer. Some sounds of things inside the house are heard at the closing.

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