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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Shumaun

One Day Closer to Yesterday

Review by Gary Hill

This is apparently the sophomore disc from this outfit. I haven't heard the first album, so I can't comment on the differences, but based on the strength of this, I'd have to guess that these guys have avoided the sophomore jinx. This album is a real powerhouse that manages to shift and change throughout, while also entertaining for the duration. While the prog purists will probably hate these guys for the metal and alternative rock built into this music, it's their loss because this is very strong stuff.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2019  Volume 2 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Sensus Divinitatis
Mellow textural tones bring this into being. Melodic, slow moving keyboards rise up as it continues, taking command. The vocals join between the minute and minute-and-a-half mark. They bring a real rocking element to the track, but the music remains sedate. The sounds of an infant are heard at the end of the piece.
The Writing’s on the Wall

Musical textures from the previous tune open this. The band fire out into a fast paced, hard rocking jam from there. This is quite heavy and powerful. The cut works through a number of shifts and changes. It's very hard rocking, but definitely not metallic. It's pure fast paced modern prog with some seriously driving music at its heart.

Fear Is

Coming in with a sound that seems a cross between the first two cuts. As the vocals come across the top, this has an almost alternative rock vibe to it. After a while this gives way to a seriously metallic jam. It's fast paced, fierce and so cool. Yet it gets modulated by a melodic movement that really turns the piece in a different direction, while somehow feeling like the right resolution to that more intense movement. This works out by moving between the various modes as it carries forward. Around three-and-a-half minute mark they take it into a movement that makes me think a little of Rush. That has a sound-bite that is a woman talking.

Nafsi Ammara

The opening movement here definitely brings the metal and hard rock. It's fast paced and so cool. The cut has some more alternative rock in the mix, but some of the most metallic sounds of the whole disc, too. This is a real powerhouse prog stomper. There are some very intriguing movements in this cut. It's very dynamic and one of the most complex things here. They even drop it way down for a mellower movement later in the piece.

City of Gold
This piece is dramatic and rather mellow prog that's just a bit over a minute-and-a-half long. It's a cool instrumental.
Central Station

Coming in on acoustic guitar, this works outward from there as a somewhat folk prog styled number. This remains somewhat balladic as it continues. It's another intriguing piece of music that brings variety to this set.

Prove Yourself
There is a lot of thrash built into this stomper, creating a stark contrast to the previous piece. Yet, it still has plenty of progressive rock in the mix. A lot of that comes from the killer vocal arrangement. Still, while this is fierce, it's also decidedly progressive rock like. This thing is furious!
Go

We're in the hard rocking territory again here. While there is a bit of that thrashish element, there are also hints of things like Led Zeppelin on some of the riffs. Yet, it still has plenty of prog in a rather Dream Theater-like way. This is another that's quite complex. It has some particularly intense moments, too.

Remember Me and I Will Remember You

Coming in dramatic and a bit mysterious, this feels metallic even though mellower. It works through for a time, and then the crunch joins. This has some of the most decidedly metal sounds of the whole disc, but it also tempers that with mellower prog type sounds. There are definitely world music leanings here. The guitar soloing on this is pretty amazing stuff.

One Day Closer to Yesterday

The closing title track is a true epic at over 15 minutes of music. It comes in with a fairly mellow and dramatic section based on picked guitar. By around the three-minute mark this has worked through some intriguing territory and fired out into some powerhouse prog that has an almost metal intensity to it. By around the three-and-a-half minute mark it drops to a mellower keyboard based movement with some sound-bites. Bursts of harder rocking sound are heard as this carries forward and vocals join. The movement around the five-minute mark is fast paced, metallic and so powerful. It's among the most intense passages of the whole disc. An acoustic guitar based section bring it into almost jazzy territory around the seven-minute point. More of a traditional prog rock sound emerges a minute or so later in a killer complex instrumental movement. After a transition that gives way to a smoking hot metallic prog section. As this continues to evolve it eventually works out to a powerful triumphant sounding prog movement that's among the strongest stuff here. That holds it for a while and then gives way to some more transformative music. It drops back to mellower stuff around the 14-minute mark and moves forward from there to take the piece (and album) to its closing. 

 
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