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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Residuos Mentales


Review by Gary Hill

While this might not be precisely the image you get when you conjure up the concept of "progressive rock," this definitely fits the bill. It's built around classical and jazz sounds to a large degree, but space rock and more traditional prog both show up here. This is an instrumental set that would often work well as movie soundtrack music. It's diverse and powerful. It's also lush and beautiful. All that said, it's suitably dark a lot of the time and sometimes even menacing and a bit unsettling.

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Track by Track Review
Pandora's Box
Trippy atmospheric elements open this more like sound effects than music. It starts to become musical before the minute-and-a-half mark with some piano and other elements emerging. It's dark and spacey with an almost soundtrack sound. It eventually gets more symphonic rock added to the mix. There is a doomy sort of vibe as this continues, but the instrumental also has some definite prog things.
The sounds of a storm open this, and piano rises upward. Symphonic elements join after a time, and the cut continues to evolve in mellow, soundtrack like ways. This instrumental is only about a minute-and-a-half long.
More or less a classical piano solo for the bulk of the number, there is a melancholy sort of texture to this number. It's also quite pretty and moving. There is some acoustic guitar that rises up later. At first it serves more as augmentation, but that and a violin take command at the end of the piece. 
The Thorn in Me
I love the picked guitar that serves as the central element to the opening here. This cut has other layers of sound in the mix, but that guitar dominates a lot of the track. The symphonic prog overtones that join further down the road lend a lot of beauty and power to the song. This builds out to one of the more rocking things here further down the road as  it builds out toward fusion. The symphonic prog concepts really rise to the top as it approaches the ending.
My Stories
More of a trippy texture brings this into being, feeling a bit like something Synergy might do. There are some sound-bites built into this number. The piece has a real space vibe and some intriguing textures.
A Prospect of a Blooming Life
Intricate and neo-classical in nature, there are varying instruments involved here from picked guitar to symphonic strings and more. It's a pretty and quite sedate piece.
It All Becomes Clear

There are some non-lyrical vocals on this number. The cut has a real world music meets fusion and folk prog feeling to it. It also has some tasty electric guitar that makes me think of David Gilmour a bit. This is the most mainstream thing here, and it's quite melodic and effective.

Trippy spacey elements are on display along with some melodic guitar. There is a real soundtrack meets mellow space rock vibe to this thing.
Mellower, rather fusion like stuff brings this into being. Violin really adds a lot to the arrangement on this number. It becomes a lot more neo-classical in texture as it grows. This evolves into quite a powerful piece of music. It really does a great job of merging classical and fusion textures. I love the fact that this has theremin built into it later. A powerful, more traditional prog jam emerges at the end.
On the Borderline
Piano drives this as it comes out of the gate. This has a great energy and vibe. It makes me think of some of Danny Elfman's soundtrack music, but with more of a symphonic bent to it. This is a dramatic, quick paced and powerful. It has some hints of world music along with a real sense of menace in some of the overlayers at points. There is some laughter in the background at the end.
A Promise Unkept / Mental Residuals
This rises up with a fusion meets classical vibe. As the electric guitar comes into it the track takes on more of a prog rock turned fusion element. This is building and powerful. It drifts into some trippier jazz textures as it continues. There is some world music that enters as an influence at times, but overall this is a very jazz-like excursion in this movement. By around the four-minute mark this explodes outward into some screaming hot fusion leaning prog rock jamming. Maybe a minute later it devolves into some rather chaotic weirdness to the end the piece and the album.
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