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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Vasil Hadzimanov Band

Lines In Sand

Review by Gary Hill

I previously reviewed another set from this act and loved it. Their blend of fusion with prog and space rock lands them under prog, and the quality of the music gets them a nod of approval. All in all, this is a classy set that is a fine addition to the group's catalog.

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Track by Track Review
Lines In Sand
Percussive elements bring this into being. Some non-lyrical vocals come in over the top of that, lending a real world music sound to the proceedings. After the one minute mark this works out to more of a cool fusion meets progressive rock groove. A section around the half-way mark seems to be what you might get if the Grateful Dead were Frank Zappa's backup band, and they were doing some world music with him. This works through some cool shifts and changes along an instrumental road.
Mr. MoonJune
This number has some killer fusion along with some space rock and a lot more. It is a smoking hot groove that works so well. I like the balance between more powered up and mellower stuff along this road. I particularly like the killer jam near the end of the track with the tasty keyboard sounds.
San Snova
Piano brings this one into being, and it works out from there after a time. It's almost a minute in before other instruments join, though. They bring with them a bit of an early King Crimson vibe and an augmentation of freeform jazz elements. The jazz arrangement that takes over from there is so classy and classic. The jamming it stellar, too.
A piano arrangement starts this, but other instruments join pretty quickly. There is an old school jazz vibe to it. There are also female vocals on the tune. The later portions of this cut are built around a killer jazz movement that has some Traffic elements along with more typical fusion. The guitar work even makes me think of Al Di Meola just a bit at times. The singer returns later with a real soaring jazz style. The cut continues building upward as it drives forward.
This comes in mellow and electronic and works on building outward from there. This is far more electronic space music than it is jazz. It works directly into the next cut, serving as an introduction.      
Kazi Gradiska
The modes from the previous number open this and build upward from there. The cut works to a killer jam that has some Americana, space music and more in the mix. There are parts that make me think of King Crimson, but other things do bring fusion to it. There are some vocals in this cut, and the tune is a real tour-de-force, working through some intriguing shifts and changes.
While this tune still has plenty of fusion built into it, it reminds me more of something like Tangerine Dream. It rises up gradually and becomes a cool prog rock based groove as it continues to build forward.
For Clara
This is a classy jazzy groove that works really well. The tune is a slow kind of almost psychedelic groove. It gets a bit spacey further down the musical road. The vocals have a real soulful feeling to them. The trippy musical twists have an almost ominous vibe.
Waiting For...
Coming out of the previous piece, this is dramatic, fairly mellow and world music based. I'm reminded of Di Meola again to some degree. This gets quite progressive rock like as it continues to evolve.
Freedom From The Past
Killer fusion leads us out of the gate here. There are definite progressive rock tendencies on hand, too, and this thing grooves really nicely. I dig the killer spacey section, and the bass really gets seriously funky on this thing.
Ratnici Podzemlja
A fast paced fusion groove is the order of business here. This is just so cool. The keyboards bring some intriguing sounds, and the bass lays down the funk for a lot of the number. There are some non-lyrical vocals later in this track, and it gets some world music elements, too.
Rege Hadzi
While the keyboards on this bring some prog to the table, world music and fusion are the real dominant factors on the number. It's another classy cut that works really well.
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