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Progressive Rock CD Reviews


The Waving Flame of Oblivion

Review by Gary Hill

The music here lands somewhere between progressive rock and heavy metal. At different times it seems to lean more in one direction than the other. It also has a decent amount of space rock and psychedelia built into it. While about half the songs have some spoken vocals, they are actually sound-clips, so I'd say this is an instrumental set. It's powerful and captivating. It's also well worth having. I love how the CD comes inside an inner-sleeve, like a mini version of a vinyl LP inner-sleeve.

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Track by Track Review
Distant Karma
Intricate musical elements bring this into being. As it starts to grow outward, it takes on metallic textures. The cut continues to evolve, though, becoming a killer prog jam that has a lot of metallic crunch. I'd liken it to Dream Theater in a lot of ways. It works through some killer shifts and turns along the musical road.
The Hollow Men
There is a spoken vocal part (sort of an extended poetry reading that sits at one level while the instruments rise and fall along the road) to this cut. The jamming is again a great merging of metal and prog elements. It's another smoking hot tune that works quite well. It has some decidedly intense moments built into it.
Dramatic and powerful instrumental work creates the metallic prog design to this piece. While I maintain that this is still progressive rock, it's decidedly more metallic than a lot of the rest.
The Discouraging Doctrine of Chances
Like "The Hollow Men" this has another spoken vocal part. It doesn't sound like it's in English, though. This cut shifts between quite metallic and sounds and rather mellower psychedelic stuff and more.
There is a real space rock vibe to this number. In fact, in a lot of ways it makes me think of Hawkwind. Sure, it gets a metal edge at times, but the space rock and keyboards really elevate this thing.
While there is another spoken word bit on this cut (not in English), this time around it drops out at points. This cut runs between metallic hard rock and prog tendencies. It's another killer piece on a disc with no shortage of such things.
More melodic and purely progressive rock oriented, this still manages to pack in a lot of energy and power. It's another killer instrumental number.
A Few More Steps
The spoken thing is back here, this time in English. The cut is another that focuses more on the progressive rock side, but it still has some definite metal crunch and edge to a lot of it. There are some intriguing shifts and changes, particularly a cool electronic space music section that gets an infusion of something close to funk as it continues.
Godspeed Radio Galaxy
With sound-bites of a space variety, this number does a great job of running between space rock, metal and psychedelia. It's another tasty slab of the kind of thing we've grown to expect here. This is arguably the strongest cut here. It is certainly the most dynamic, covering a lot of musical territory. Of course the fact that it's almost 11 minutes long affords it the opportunity to really stretch out and explore. It's a real powerhouse, too.
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