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Progressive Rock CD Reviews


On the Ending Earth...

Review by Gary Hill

I struggled with where to put this release. The music here is dark and leans toward techno or industrial. It's also got a lot of metal and psychedelia built into it. The thing is, there is a real progressive rock quality to it. I nearly put it under heavy metal, but the band considers this progressive rock. So, I went with their classification. Whatever you call this, I really like it.

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Track by Track Review
It's Already Too Late
Ambient textures start the disc. The cut drives out with a rocking kind of groove from there. Some fusion guitar rises up amidst the arrangement as the bass really dances around. The vocals eventually come in, bringing a dark edge to the piece. There are bursts of metallic prog jamming that really scream out.
Mother Superior
This earns a parental advisory for the lyrics. It's hard rocking. There is a definite psychedelic edge. It makes me think a bit of what you might get if you mashed up Jelly Fish and King's X. I can hear some Beatles musical references here, too. Yet, it's more metallic than any of those comparisons suggest.
Sip the Pleasure of Days
I love the cool bass sound on this tune. The number is a powerhouse rocker that has plenty of pop rock built into it. It's fast-paced and packed with crunchy edges. It gets pretty intense at times.
All That Lives Is Born to Die
I dig the moodier, dark and rather heavy sound of this number. This is dramatic and evocative. That said, though, it's only the first part. This is an epic piece at over ten-minutes of music. After a while it shifts to more of a driving prog jam. An extended instrumental movement gives way to an up-tempo jam that really soars. It gets back to the moodier zones later. There are some definite hints of Pink Floyd sound on this.
Thought I Was
Acoustic guitar starts this number. The vocals come in over the top of that backdrop. The opening section is a balladic one. The cut grows upward into more of an alternative rock meets psychedelic arrangement.
A Brief Sparkle in the Nothingness
There is a trippy kind of techno electronic vibe as this number begins. The cut continues to move and evolve, but remains mellower and built around a sparser arrangement. When bits of music rise up I'm reminded of Radiohead. Spoken bits of vocals are an intriguing addition. The tune does eventually fire out into harder rocking, up-tempo jamming later. It has a real psychedelia meets hard-edged prog vibe. This really has an epic vibe to it as it continues to grow and explore. At nearly eight-minutes, it is near epic in size, too.
Moody and dark as it starts, this is another that begins mellow and reflective. It grows out with an arrangement that seems to blend something like Jane's Addiction with 80s Rush. This is a cool song that is one of the more accessible and mainstream numbers here.
Sister Wrongway
This cut has more of that Jane's Addiction thing built into it. This has plenty of variety and changes along the road.
While this is decidedly metallic at times, it still has plenty of proggy shifts and changes. There are more restrained sections for the verses, but powered up metallic ones as the choruses.
A short track, this has a great balance between a bit moodier and mellower and harder edged and angry. It earns a parental advisory.
A Love Letter to Humanity
The guitar riff that brings this into being has a real metallic edge to it. There is a dark, techno edge to this thing. There are some cool changes and varied modes on this number. It's perhaps more metallic than anything else here. That's brought home on the guitar solo portion of the track.
Die With Me
There is a trippy, psychedelic edge to the pretty, mellower modes that bring this number into being. There is a cool psychedelia meets pop and prog feeling to this. The cut is still moody, but you can probably gather that from the title. This remains mellower than some of the rest of the tunes here do. There is a rich, almost symphonic electronic edge to a lot of this.
Fade to Black
This mellower number is another that remains on the sedate side for the first half of the tune. It's largely keyboard based. It's also decidedly proggy. It has some great melodies and textures. This powers out to soaring, harder edged zones further down the road, really creating an epic feeling to it all. This might actually be my favorite song of the whole set. It makes for a great closing.
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