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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Fernando Perdomo

Out to Sea

Review by Gary Hill

What an intriguing instrumental album this is. This definitely rides the line between progressive rock and fusion, but more often than not lands on the prog rock side of the equation. As you might guess from the fact that the project bears the name of guitarist Fernando Perdomo, this has a lot of exceptional guitar work. This is not, however, simply an excuse for guitar soloing. The full song is the important factor, but Perdomo finds plenty of opportunity to shine.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2018  Volume 4 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
The Architect
The sound that brings this into being reminds me a lot of Peter Banks. In fact, the whole arrangement calls to mind Banks' band Flash a lot. After the initial introductory section, this moves out into a different jam. It still feels like Flash. When Perdomo's guitar solos over the top I'm still reminded of Peter Banks. This is a powerhouse progressive rocker that has a lot of fusion in the mix. It's packed full of exceptional instrumental work and some cool changes. It shifts toward more pure fusion further down the road.
Out to Sea
Another progressive rock powerhouse, there is more classical music built into this in some ways. The keyboard elements bring a symphonic vibe. The cut shifts and turns running through a number of twists and turns. I dig the guitar soloing a lot. This gets into some killer hard rocking territory. This is incredibly dramatic and powerful.
De Boerderij
Intricate acoustic guitar brings this into being. It shifts after this introductory section to a more full fusion arrangement to move forward. It drops back to the mellower zone to continue from there, but it's not as dropped back as the introduction was. Then around the half way mark we get another power-up to more rocking fusion. It gets quite powerful as it drives forward before finally dropping back to end.
Roses Spread All Over the World
More of a melodic fusion sound starts this and moves it forward. This works through with a more pure fusion arrangement, remaining on the mellow side. As one might expect, there is some great guitar work here, but every bit of this is classy. It's not as dynamic as some of the rest, but it also doesn't stay in one place. It doesn't get into the fully rocking stuff, but it still has some range. The rocking guitar solo on the extended outro is pure class.
The Future According to Roye
After a bit of a trippy introduction this shifts to something that's part Hendrix and part funk. I'm actually reminded of Nektar just a bit on this introductory movement. It works from there into more of a pure melodic fusion. After that plays through, though an almost metallic part rises up to guide the piece forward. It continues change, though, working through varying rocking and mellower movements as it evolves. This is arguably the most varied and dynamic piece on the disc. It's one of the best, too.
The Dream
Suiting the title, there is a dreamy quality to this piece. It focuses on the melodic, but has a lot of power and some definite energy built into it. I really dig the tone of this piece. It has a killer 1970s fusion feel to it.
Sonja
I love the instrumental work on this piece. It has a classic progressive rock vibe with a lot of classical music built into it. It has a great balance between mellower and more rocking stuff. It's one of the highlights of the disc, and actually one of the more dynamic. Even the mellower movement has some electrified guitar that really rocks.
Dreaming in Stereo Suite
At over 16 minutes of music, this is the epic of the set. Piano starts this and carries it for a short time. It eventually makes its way upward to more rocking fusion territory to continue. The piano takes over again after that section concludes. Then it all climbs upward into a powerhouse fusion jam that really rocks. Around the four minute mark there is a jam that has a lot of both classic progressive rock and psychedelic rock built into it. It's a scorching hot section. Around the five minute mark it drops back to electric piano. Guitar comes over with a tastefully distorted sound painting lines of melody. The piece continues by expanding upon and exploring within this basic concept. The other instrumentation that joins again brings hints of psychedelia. I would say that there are definite Beatles-like elements here. This cut works onward getting pretty intense, but staying within this same general musical theme. By around the 10 minute mark it has dropped back to a mellower movement to carry forward. It works upward to a smooth fusion kind of jam from there. It has some killer guitar soloing further down the road.
Bonus Track
         
Starless (for John Wetton)

The classic King Crimson piece gets an intriguing revisit here. This is echoey and so cool. All the melodies are present, and this really captures a lot of the magic of the original piece, while giving it a distant kind of texture. I think that's fitting of a tribute a man who is no longer with us.

 
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