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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Syndone

Kama Sutra

Review by Gary Hill

The brand of progressive rock on offer here is so intriguing and unique. There are things that call to mind references to other acts, but as a whole, it's so fresh and original. It's also incredibly strong. I would say that there is a very good chance this release will make my "best of 2021" list by the time the year is over. It should be mentioned that there are some points were parental advisories are earned. NOTE: The title is altered just a little for use on this internet version of the MSJ review because it had characters that the code was spitting out. The title is accurate in the print edition, though.

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
It’s Only Make Believin’
After an ambient introduction, this fires out into screaming hot jazzy prog rock. It's heavy, but also funky. This drops back to a funky fusion for the verse. They work out into a powered up jam that calls to mind ELP after the vocal movement. More vocals come in over the top of that powerhouse arrangement. This thing is continues to evolve. It has soul and a hard-edged angle, but it's also decidedly progressive rock oriented.
Nirvana
A rather classically tinged mellower movement opens this. There is a tentative energy that flirts with the foreground. Eventually the cut grows out into another screaming hot progressive rock arrangement. There is definitely a musical theater vibe at play. I really love the keyboard solo later in the track. It has a classic element. I can make out some hints of the operatic side of Queen on this number at times. Yet, it's also hard rocking and so tasty.
Carousel

Seeming to come out of the previous number, this is a Zappa-like excursion. It's so much fun and has some killer twists and turns. While Zappa is the biggest reference point here, there are hints of ELP and some definite symphonic things at play, too. There is also a twist to something along the lines of Dream Theater near the end. That's where the only vocals of the tune reside, as well.

Into the Kama
Piano brings this into being with a rather classical arrangement. Vocals come over the top of that backdrop. The standard male vocals are joined by some female ones on this song. This piece works through a number of changes. It has some melodic prog sections.
Bitches
This has a dynamic and diverse arrangement. Some of the more rocking movements make me think of what you might get if Prince and Lenny Kravitz had worked with ELP. There is definitely some gritty hard rock elements here and hints of funk.
You Still Shine
The opening movement here is like a Zappa jazz arrangement. The cut gets more theatrical and symphonic as it continues. This never gets as rocking as a lot of the others, but rather stays more in the zone of musical theater. It does get a full symphonic treatment at the end.
Sex Toys R Us
Powering out from the start, this is a powerhouse tune that showcases both hard rocking energy and symphonic edges. It's a classy mix of sounds and concepts. There is an interesting vocal arrangement and the dropped back parts are unusual. The powerhouse jazz movement is on fire.
2 Thousand 10
We get a classy prog jam for this roughly two-minute instrumental piece. It's both classic and modern. It's also very cool.
Sacred & Profane
There is a lot of classy jazz built into this piece. There are more pure rock portions later along the road, too. There is a particularly powerful classic prog movement in place mid-track. The cut explodes out from there. I'm reminded of a more modern version of Trapeze at some times here. The symphonic angles are intriguing on the tune, too.
We Are The World We Created
There is a very musical theater sort of concept to this track. The number has some intriguing changes and some real jazz in the mix, too. It gets into a killer prog rock jam late in the piece. That section is really on fire.
Peace on Earth
This is a pretty and restful piece. Piano with a lot of classical leanings serves as the backdrop for the vocals. Some symphonic instrumentation is heard over the top at times.
 
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