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Progressive Rock CD Reviews


The Big Game

Review by Gary Hill

I've struggled with where to put this. It's not purely progressive rock by any means. It does have some real prog in the mix, though. I nearly landed it under heavy metal, but it doesn't really fit there, either. I ultimately landed it under metal because of the way it defies categorization. This is a trio of musicians, the names of which give it the initials that serve as the name of the act. Those musicians are Derek Olivero (guitars and lead vocals), Bobby Gavin (drums and vocals) and Dave De Ranieri (bass and vocals). Jerry Marotta produced it and provides some keyboards and backing vocals. Daniel Weiss also provides keyboards on several tracks. Hugh Syme (who is probably best known for his great Rush album covers) did the cover. There are some references to Rush in the sound here to me, but if you want to come close to the idea of this, I'd probably point you to bands like The Giraffes and King's X. Whatever you call this, it's an intriguing and exciting release that works well.

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Track by Track Review
Young Love
An almost alternative rock introduction gives way to a jam that is hard-edged and proggy. The vocals come in over the top of that. This is high-energy and so classy. The guitar soloing on this is on fire.
Sweet Life

The verses on this are more stripped down. There is a real metallic texture to this thing. It's another powerhouse tune with definite alternative rock in the mix.

The Word

Another rocking cut, this has more of that metal meets alternative vibe. This really rocks out with an almost prog metal vibe later.

Out in the West

One of the most decidedly metallic cuts here, this still has a lot of alternative rock in it. This is killer tune with some pointed lyrics. I'd consider this stomper to be a highlight of the set.

Innocence Ran

Clean guitars hide the fact that there is a real metal edge to the main structure of the song. Keyboards bring hints of prog to it. The guitar solo is classy stuff.

Setting Sun
This cut is more expansive and soaring. It definitely lands in the zone of prog rock in a lot of ways. I dig the guitar soloing on this a lot.

I'm definitely reminded of Rush on this number. There is an alternative edge to the vocals, though.

Scary Night

Now, this is a metal tune. It is mean and hard-edged. It's a real screamer. Yet, I can still make out some Rushish hints. This song is appropriate for our October issue because the lyrics seem to tell a horror story.


Another scorcher, this seems to have equal parts progressive rock, metal and alternative tock It's hard-rocking and fierce.


With intricate guitar at its heart, the opening section here makes me think of the mellower side of Metallica merged with prog. That prog angle is reinforced with some synthesizer. After it works through the extended introduction it drops way down for a more fully prog section. That gives way to the first vocal movement. After those first sections it powers up for the chorus. This piece is the most dynamic thing here. It's also the most purely proggy and the highlight of the disc. It has a great vocal arrangement and is a killer ride.

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