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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Fires of Denmark


Review by Gary Hill

This is an unusual and intriguing album. I've landed it under progressive rock, but don't expect classic prog here. This lands in the zone of electronic music, and at times works more toward electro-pop or even dance music. More often than not, though, it resembles modern moody prog, but also wanders into space rock zones and more. It's a cool album that seems to be a bit of a concept piece. It's artistic and entertaining at once.

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Track by Track Review
Negentropy (intro)
This is a trippy, atmospheric instrumental introduction.
Time Will Wear You Down
Coming straight out of the previous cut, this gradually starts upward in an electronic meets symphonic kind of arrangement. The bass part of this gets pretty involved as the synthesizer textures build. Some intriguing melody lines come over the town. As the vocals weave their way over the top this takes on a rather space music vibe. The cut grows outward later with almost a more modern electronic music movement that has a driving impetus to it. This is absolutely sublime.
It Goes On
I really dig the percussive element on this track. The cut is electronic and manages to still feel proggy at the same time. This has some vocals more like sound-bites or loops, but no real lyrics or singing.
And It Never Ends
I dig the cool electronic groove  on this track. The vocals bring a playful edge along with some classy proggy concepts. The groove later gets more dance music based, but it's still pretty thoroughly tied the electronic sounds of the 1970s. I really dig the bass line on that part.
Start Living Outside Time
This has a real bas driven arrangement, too. It's electronic, energized and very effective. The vocals bring more of that space music element to bear. Further down the road this turns more rocking with soma almost industrial guitar sounds over the top. Still, the overall effect is very proggy. This is one of the highlights of the set. Given the strength of the other music here, that say a lot.
And On And On
There is a cool, dreamy, almost sultry vibe to this piece. It's still purely electronic but feels a bit jazzy. It's slow moving and so classy. This is another standout piece. It calls to mind modern prog of acts like Porcupine Tree, but also earlier things like Pink Floyd just a bit.
Do You Know
Some weird whistling brings this into being. The cut works out to more of a rocking groove from there. This has proggy elements along with some jazzy ones and more. The bass sound drives it. The vocals are airy and dreamy.
Preserve The Thread
There is a cool balance between spacey proggy concepts and more driving electronic ones here. I love the lines of melody and the trippy vocals. I particularly love how all the parts work together to paint a sonic image. This cut really covers a lot of musical territory before it's done. Then again, as one of two epics (at over twelve minutes of music), this cut has plenty of space to explore.
Miles Above You
At over twelve-and-a-half minutes long, this piece is the longest number here. It comes in electronic, slowly building and very cool. This song evolves gradually and has mellower, even sedate, movements balanced with more driving ones. Electronic and prog both seem to be at play at different points along the road. There is a mellow, artsy section later that is so unusual and so cool with it's mellow, almost jazzy approach to the piano sounds. That piano solo movement has some rather ominous twists, but it is so cool, too.
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