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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Jupiter Hollow

Bereavement

Review by Gary Hill

Jupiter Hollow's brand of prog is certainly not something that a lot of prog purists will get behind. It's often metallic. It's chaotic, dark and crazed. It's also inventive, unique and sure to surprise. This is quite a ride.

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) in Music Street Journal: 2020  Volume 4. More information and purchase links can be found at: garyhillauthor.com/Music-Street-Journal-2020.

Track by Track Review
L'Eau Du Papineau
Gentle sounds of nature open this and hold it for a time, rising up gradually. Strange music rises up for a short time, creating an almost nightmare vibe. Then the nature sounds take over again. A guitar rises up along with vocals as they launch into a sort of acoustic rocking mode that is fast paced and almost a little punky. The guitar work is fast paced and powerful. Of course, that could be said of the whole arrangement.
Scarden Valley
Piano brings this into being and holds it for a time, the vocals coming in over the top after a bit. Eventually other instruments join as the intensity builds. This is a potent rocking movement that has some smoking hot guitar soloing later along the road.  The number seems to run through and end, but the a trippy kind of atmospheric element comes in to serve as the actual closing of the piece.
The Rosedale
I love the angular jabs that make up the hard rocking prog motif here. This is quirky, and hard rocking. It's mainstream in an unusual way. There is a metallic vibe here that gets intensified later, but yet this is very much a prog number.
Kipling Forest
If the whole album were like this, I'd land it under heavy metal. This is fierce and the vocals are literally screaming a lot of the time. Yet, it's alternated with a mellower, more melodic movement. This is a fierce piece.
The Mill
This tune is pretty intriguing. It has some seriously metallic stuff, but it's tempered with more proggy stuff. The cut is an unusual mix of spacey, almost dreamy shoegaze like stuff with frantic riffing, extreme metal ferocity and more. Yet, it all seems to gel and work quite well. This is actually one of my favorite songs here.
Mandating Our Perception
At just about two-and-a-half minutes of music, this is the shortest piece here. Piano brings it in and holds it for a while. Eventually chorale vocals and atmospheric textures take the piece from there. A sea of spoken bits that make me think of Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon rise up and take control. There are some bits where a voice comes over the top, saying, "your time is up" one word at a time. That ends the piece.
Sawbreaker
Drums lead this number out of the gate. The other instruments join, bringing sort of an alternative rock meets prog approach as they do. It works through like that for a while before some extreme metal emerges. This is a quirky, rapidly changing number that is diverse and insanely creative.  Don't get comfortable anywhere along this road because the one thing that's constant here is change. There are some pretty insane sections built into this.
Extensive Knowledge
Another cut that has all kinds of shifts and turns built into it, this doesn't get as fierce as the last couple. There are plenty of alternative rock edges, though, and it does get a bit crunchy. Still, this doesn't really rise to the level of heavy metal. It's modern prog with a hard rocking mode. The nature sounds from the beginning of the album return at the end of this to segue it into the next cut.
Solar Gift
At over 12-and-a-half minutes long, this is the epic of the set. It comes in out of the previous piece with a cool timed arrangement that has alternative rock merged with prog at its core. The cut gets into some soaring metallic stomping later. The cut continues to shift and grow and evolve as it works forward. This is the strongest piece here without question. It is just so powerful. There is a mellower keyboard based movement later in the piece that is so classy. It works out to a prog rocking movement from there, still based heavily around keyboards. That eventually gives way to a guitar dominated movement that creates intriguing sonic patterns. They use that movement to take the track, and album to its close.
 
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