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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

The Cyberiam

Forging Nations LIVE!

Review by Gary Hill

This live set from The Cyberiam was recorded at ProgStock 2019. The set of songs chosen for the show really displays the various sides of the band's sound. The performance itself shows off the professionalism and skill of the act. It does all that while still managing to entertain. These guys always deliver, really.

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Track by Track Review
Alice in Afterland
Dramatic ambience brings this in before they launch out into screaming hot hard rock. They drop it back to a more intricate arrangement. The vocals eventually come in over the top of that backdrop. They bring it out into a cool faster paced sound later, and that gets some evolution and reinvention as it drives forward. I really love some of the bass work on this thing a lot. They continue making their way through the instrumental section, but eventually drop back for more vocals. The cut screams back out from there.
The Fall
I love the hook-laden chorus on this tune. The number has a bit more mainstream arrangement, yet it's still get plenty of progressive rock built into it.
With a spoken piece heard early on in the track, this works out to some killer prog jamming from there. The number has some great changes built into the instrumental movements. I love the bass jamming later. The guitar work gets particularly intense on this, too. We get a return of the spoken section at the end along with sounds of a street scene. There is a final blast of hard-rocking music at the end.
The Butterfly Effect
At nearly 21-and-a-half minutes long, this is the epic of the set. Classy keyboards and chorale vocals sounds bring this into being. That gives way to a stomping hard rock pounding. This thing gets decidedly metallic as it drives forward. It drops to just the rhythm section for the entrance of the vocals. The cut continues to evolve as it works forward. They get into some pretty alternative rock based zones before dropping back to atmospheric space territory around the six-minute mark. Blasts of harder rocking jam punctuate it and threaten to take over with an almost Rush-like vibe. Eventually the cut drives outward with a bit of a Dream Theater-like sound from there. They take that sound through a number of variants via an extended instrumental movement. This thing just keeps grinding forward as it also evolves. While a lot of this focuses on the harder rocking guitar based side of things, the keyboards get the opportunity to show off, too. There is an acapella, sea of voices section after the mid-point of the track. Some guitar rises up to drive it into the next movement, which is more understated. The lead vocals join for a short time, and the cut works upward from there as it works onward. The vocals return over the more intense arrangement. The jamming later gets really driving and powerful in a more purely progressive rock way. I love the moving bass work and the killer guitar soloing. It reaches a pretty crazy peak before it's done. 
The Historian
With more of an alternative rock edge to it, this comes in and grows out with class. The number is classy and soaring as it seems to just keep building upward as it evolves. The cut drives out into a hard-edged jam with both Dream Theater and Deep Purple seemingly represented as influences after the halfway mark. They move it out to more melodic territory before it's over.
My Occupation
A mellower motif starts this, and guitar brings drama as it solos over the top. The backing elements intensifies as the soloing continues. The introduction is an extended one, but the track eventually explodes out into a hard rocking, driving prog jam that calls to mind Rush a bit. The number gets into a soaring prog arrangement that again has definite links to the sound of Rush as it continues. There is a piano led section further down the road that is classy. I love the piano solo that takes it at the end.
Don't Blink
Mellow and dramatic tones bring this piece into being. It grows outward from there. There is some beautiful music built into this as it works forward as sort of melodic prog rocker. Any song with lyrics that reference "Doctor Who" earns big points with me, though. I love the instrumental movement that features some rather David Gilmour-like guitar work later. They take it through some changes and eventually bring it into more metallic zones. Those Dream Theater comparisons are valid for a time, but it turns even more metal-based later.
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