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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Mahogany Frog

In the Electric Universe

Review by Gary Hill

I previously reviewed another set from this act. I liked that one a lot, something that this one shares. This is an instrumental prog album with a lot of space rock built into it. It's unique, inventive and effective. I think that I might prefer the earlier one, but this is definitely a strong release, too.

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) form in Music Street Journal: 2021  Volume 4. More information and purchase links can be found at: garyhillauthor.com/Music-Street-Journal-2021.

Track by Track Review
Theme from P.D.
This piece starts mellow and gradually builds outward. There are definitely some world music aspects to the arrangement. It gets into some really driving rock before it hits a false ending as it approaches the halfway mark (this piece is over 14-minutes long). Then it turns to a dramatic movement that has some squeally sounds with a driving rhythm section and some seriously hard rocking elements. It eventually explodes outward with some serious fury and fire. Driving hard rocking prog that makes me think of something like Dream Theater just a little takes control as the number continues to work forward. That eventually gives way to a more melodic, but still rather noisy movement. This section has both prog tendencies and world music vibes. This continues to grow and evolve from there. It's a real powerhouse number, and a great opener.
Psychic Police Force
This starts rather noisy and machine-like. It starts to grow outward from there, taking on a real space rock kind of groove after a time. This really soars and expands as it continues growing and evolving. It becomes quite the powerhouse tune before it's over and done.
Floral Flotilla (Sail to Me My Love in Your...)
Freaky, trippy sort of sound starts this. It begins to rise up and bits of melody emerge. Space keyboard concepts take charge later as the arrangement becomes quite dense. There is a lot of space rock built into this. It gets quite noisy later. It seems to be just about ending, but actually drops to more trippy space zones as it continues for quite some time. Then a jazz meets space approach rises up to take control from there. More trippy space textures take over beyond that section to eventually close the piece.
Cube
Noisy trippy space music is on the menu as this starts. It's fuzz laden and so cool. This works out to more driving, rocking space music. This is another powerhouse tune. It's perhaps a bit more mainstream than some of the others are. This thing is really screaming hot.
Octavio: (Including: The Ascension of the Moonrise Children)
Starting mellower and rather melodic, this works out to some of an electronic prog kind of approach as it grows. This gets into a pretty mainstream jam for a while as it continues. A drop back to a synthetic symphonic movement mid-track is a nice touch. The whole tune is really cool stuff. A tweaked section later twists it into weirdness before they launch out into another more mainstream jam from there.
(((Sundog)))
I love the more mainstream space rock vibe on this tune. This one is perhaps the most easily accessible number on the set.
 
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