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Progressive Rock CD Reviews


Seven Secrets

Review by Gary Hill

This is the second release from Fruup. It’s also part of a new box set that includes the first four albums. I’ve reviewed each album individually as a retro review for this issue, along with the box set as a whole. The track reviews here come from that review.  Given all the extra value you get with that, I highly recommend getting this stuff that way. This album, as you might expect, is the most like the debut disc. Flash and Nektar are valid reference points at times.

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) in Music Street Journal: 2019  Volume 5. More information and purchase links can be found at:
Track by Track Review
Faced With Shekinah
The modes that bring this into being have a real classical meets world music vibe to them. The cut works out with a decidedly classical mode to the rock elements. As this continues to shift and evolve, the number has some more rocking moments. It makes a lot of twists and turns, but also continues in an instrumental motif as it does. In fact, the first three minutes or so are purely instrumental. Vocals come in after that, though. The cut has hints of psychedelia at times. Comparisons to both Flash and Nektar are valid. The jam after the six-minute mark in particular makes me think of Nektar. That instrumental movement gets into some particularly dramatic and soaring territory. That movement eventually ends the piece.
Wise As Wisdom
This rises up subtly and slowly, working forward with style. The cut eventually drops down again, giving way to a dramatic balladic section. It begins to drive onward from there. As it gets into more rocking stuff, and the vocals come in over the top, I’m again reminded if Nektar to a large degree. The cut eventually makes its way out to a cool and ever changing prog jam. That movement at times gets into fusion-like zones. I suppose it should probably be called “movements,” because there are definitely different section and themes within the one extensive instrumental part. Non-lyrical vocals join after a time as the track continues to evolve.
White Eyes
A mellow and quite pretty instrumental section brings this into being and holds it for a time. Eventually the cut moves outward to a pretty and rather psychedelic movement. This cut continues to change from there. The multiple layered vocal arrangement is classy. There are some intriguing sections on this number. It has some world music and a healthy helping of jazz in the mix. It remains mellower than a lot of the stuff here, but still has some good energy.
Garden Lady
A fast-paced prog jam launches this into being right at the start. It’s energized and quite classy. There are hints of psychedelia built into the number. It has hints of Flash in this early opening movement. It drops back to a mellower section from there. That has a bit of a dream-like quality. The cut continues to shift and change from there. It has some of the most dramatic and powerful passages of the whole album.
Three Spires
This is such a cool song. It has a melodic, often mellow, progressive rock element to it. It’s a powerhouse cut that is so classy.
There is plenty of playful classical music built into this piece. The cut also has some lush and powerful moments that drive it in with style. There is a lot of folk prog here.
The Seventh Secret
This has a spoken poetry recitation built into it. It’s a mellow cut with a lot of folk in the mix. It’s also very short and quite artsy.
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