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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Held By Trees


Review by Gary Hill

This is an unusual release. It's an instrumental set with a wide range. The opening track is a very sedate one, setting the expectations for one type of release. The rest of the set, though, features sounds like post prog, jazz, psychedelia and much more. I'm reminded at times of Pink Floyd. All in all, this is quite an intriguing release. It's both creative and unexpected. It's also effective. It is worth noting that for each album sold a tree is planted in Madagascar. That means this is not only good music, but also a good cause.

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Track by Track Review
Next to Silence
The sounds of nature begin the album, and this track in very quiet ways. A single piano note is heard, followed by more nature. The arrangement gradually beings to rise up from there in a sporadic and sparse way. In some ways I'm reminded of some of the mellower early King Crimson music by this opening track.
In the Trees
In a big change from the mellow concepts of the opener, drums bring this track into being. There is some echoey guitar lending some Americana.. That Americana gets some hints of jazz and psychedelia added to the mix as the piece grows. In a nice example of bookending, the percussion ends the piece as it started it.
Rain After Sun
There is some trippy psychedelia on this as it rises up and evolves. There are also jazzy elements at play. In some ways I'm reminded of things like Porcupine Tree and early Pink Floyd.
Wave Upon Wave
Jazzy, and piano-led, there are sounds of nature on this track. The cut is another slab of cool art music.
An Approach
The chords being held on organ (or at least that's what it sounds like) on this are a bit abrasive and annoying to me. The intricate acoustic guitar paints some nice melody on the tune, though. This is definitely not my favorite thing here.
The Tree of Life
This is quite an inspiring ride. It has plenty of prog rock stylings and a lot of jazz, as well. It is one of the most dynamic pieces here and a real winner.
I'm very much reminded of Pink Floyd as this mellow, jazzy sort of piece of spacey music gets underway.
The New Earth
I really dig the blend of mainstream rock and jazz stylings on this piece. There is some killer guitar soloing later in the track. This is one of the most dynamic and powerful songs here, making it a great choice to close the disc.
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