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Non-Prog CD Reviews

John DeMena

Dreams and Lies

Review by Gary Hill

This has moments that land along the lines of progressive rock. Still other sections lean on the heavy metal genre. Overall, though, it's just solid hard rock. This has some great riffs and hooks and just work particularly well. It's varied enough from song to song that it never feels tired or redundant, either.

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) in Music Street Journal: 2020  Volume 3. More information and purchase links can be found at: garyhillauthor.com/Music-Street-Journal-2020.

Track by Track Review
I the People
A keyboard-based arrangement brings this into being. The cut moves outward with a bit heavier proggy angle. Then some killer guitar rises upward from there. It turns metallic as it continues to drive forward. This has some intriguing shifts and changes along the road. It's classy stuff.
Turn Me Loose
This is a heavy, hard-rocking screamer that has some strong hooks. It's not a huge change from the previous cut, but it works well nonetheless.
Eternal Eyes
Now, this one is a bit proggier. It has a less direct approach, coming in like a moody prog rock sound with some hard edges. The movement later in the track really brings that progressive rock angle home. There is some alternative rock in the mix, too. Whatever you call it, this brings some variety and some real drama to the set.
Bring out the Rock
Now, this is a screaming hot blues rocker that really works so well. The slide guitar is a great touch, and the bass line really drives it. This one leans toward heavy metal.
Dreams and Lies
There is a slower, melancholy kind of vibe to this piece. It has some definite prog rock in the mix. There is a dream-like almost psychedelic quality here. This is a powerful number that's among the best of the disc.
No Looking Back
More of a mainstream alternative rocker, this is solid, but not a standout tune. I dig the cool guitar-led instrumental section later a lot.
Angel City
Another with a definite metal edge to it. This thing is a real powerhouse with some smoking hot blues rocking guitar at its core. The soloing is purely on fire, too. The short fast-paced bit in the end is decidedly metallic.
Infinite at All
Acoustic guitar brings this into being. As the electric guitar and hard rocking sound joins, this makes me think of a Guns N' Roses styled power ballad. It drops back to the acoustic backdrop for the entrance of the vocals. There are some proggy elements at times on this, but the powerhouse guitar solo late in the piece is a screaming hot metallic excursion.
 
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