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Progressive Rock CD Reviews



Review by Gary Hill

I previously reviewed this act. While I liked their earlier work, this feels more compelling and mature. It's a stronger set for sure. This has a lot of alternative rock in the mix, along with heavy metal and more. Yet, at its core, it is decidedly progressive.

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Track by Track Review
Animation for the Poor Man
Powering in with some crunchy and tastefully strange progressive rock, the vocals bring a bit of an alternative rock edge to the piece. This is quite a cool ride, taking us through all kinds of different territory. There are alternative rock leaning portions. The guitar solo is very much a classically oriented, technical metal styled thing. The cut works toward a metallic section later, too.
Last Generation

This comes in decidedly heavy and nearly metal in texture. The track modulates to something more in line with modern progressive rock sounds. It's a powerhouse cut that really rocks. It's dark and crunchy. Yet there are also some almost Beatles-like edges to it.  I love the metal tempered with keyboards section further down the road. The track explodes into some almost thrash-oriented sounds from there before dropping way down to continue.

Count Your Blessings
Dramatic and rather mysterious in nature, this has some cool middle-Eastern musical modes in some ways. It has a lot of alternative rock sound merged with the more progressive rock oriented stuff. This is accessible and powerful. At the end of the track they drop it back for some Latin-tinged acoustic guitar work.
Some processed vocals start the track. It's almost 20 seconds in before instruments join, bringing with them a more pure progressive rock sound. As this works forward it gets into some particularly soaring territory. It drops way down after a couple minutes for the vocals to bring some intriguing melody. After that vocal movement, this powers up to a somewhat crunchy return to the soaring prog. They move it into a slow moving progression from there that has hints of Pink Floyd. The tune keeps evolving and growing. The jam around the six-minute mark has a killer prog rocking groove. As flute joins, it begs comparisons to Jethro Tull, but those really fit anyway. This is a crunchy, driving prog rock jam that's among the best musical passages of the whole set. It eventually makes its way back to the song proper to take the cut out. At almost nine and a half minutes of music, the track is the epic of the disc. Of course, it is the title track.
King of the World
Mainstream modern progressive rock merges with alternative rock and other elements on this killer tune. It has a great almost funky groove to it and some hints of blues rock.
Across the Nation
Intricate mellower picked guitar is at the core of the arrangement of the first part of this cut. It grows out to a crunchier, powered up AOR rock styled thing after the first vocal section. This becomes quite a cool tune, alternating between those two basic concepts. While this doesn't have a lot of surprises, it's quite effective, and the technical guitar solo near the end of the piece is a real winner.
Death by Tribulation
This pounds in particularly heavy and metallic. It has a real doom metal vibe to it. It drops to a mellower, moody section for the vocals. That movement brings a real metallic prog sound to this. This cut works forward with both those metal textures and more decidedly prog ones on display. A jam later in the number includes some flute. This song is a real hard rocking grind. It's also very effective.
The Fall
Essentially a proggier version of a metal power ballad, this is a powerful and evocative piece. It's pretty and feels rather melancholy.
Gone Too Far
At over eight minutes long, this is the second longest piece here. Coming in with a jam that has an almost electronic prog sound, there is some flute in the mix. This works toward harder rocking stuff as it continues to drive forward. It resolves to a jam that merges alternative rock stylings with the prog tendencies for the entrance of the vocals. This gets into some soaring sections at points as it carries forward. They take this through a number of changes as it works toward a powerful resolution for both the song and the album.
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