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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Art Griffin's Sound Chaser

The Seven Ages Of Starlight

Review by Gary Hill

This is the second album from this act, but the first I've heard. Based on the strength of this, I am interested in hearing anything else they do. This is a great merging of instrumental fusion with instrumental progressive rock. The two styles share borders, so it's an obvious combination. This group creates some amazing and varied examples of it, too.

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) form in Music Street Journal: 2022  Volume 3. More information and purchase links can be found at: garyhillauthor.com/Music-Street-Journal-2022.

Track by Track Review
Earthrise
Keyboard textures start the album and guitar and other instruments join as this explores the sonic territory. It's a fairly short, but very classy instrumental that serves as a strong introduction.
Ride To Valhalla
Fierce prog rock is on the menu as this track gets underway. There is killer violin work on this, and I really dig the bass break section. The hard rocking guitar sounds later are a great touch, as well.
Sorcerer's Apprentice
Another energetic instrumental, this covers a lot of territory. It has a real world music element at play. There is also plenty of soaring proggy sound here. I love the screaming hot electric guitar soloing, but the acoustic stuff is tasty, too. At times I'm reminded of Al Di Meola on this thing.
Total Eclipse
This is built in a high energy format. It seems to combine space rock with fusion and more. It's a driving tune that works really well. The violin work on this is so tasty. It really gets quite the opportunity to be showcased.
JLP
There is a real fusion groove on this cut. The track has some non-lyrical vocals, but they might be sampled. I'm guessing the title refers to Jean-Luc Ponty because this number really sounds like the kind of music he does. If you dig Ponty (and why wouldn't you?), you should enjoy this.
Spanish Galleon
This is a full-on Spanish guitar solo.
Seventh Wave
Here we get into more territory that seems like it could be related to the kind of stuff Jean-Luc Ponty does.
Chasing Sound
This starts out on the mellower side, but it gradually grows and intensifies. The number has some definite fusion vibes, but it's more along the lines of pure progressive rock in other ways.
Mona Lisa Smile
This killer tune has plenty of fusion in the mix. The guitar soloing on this one is particularly cool, but you can't ignore that violin, either.
Astronomy By Rail
This is a shorter and somewhat mellower, melodic piece. It has plenty of that fusion concept built into it.
Pulsar
I am a big fan of music that evolves and grows, and this is definitely that kind of piece. It starts a little on the understated side, but works out into some smoking hot fusion jamming as it continues.
All Of A Sudden It's The End
Atmospherics start this, but it quickly drives out to scorching hot fusion with some pretty amazing guitar work. As it approaches the halfway mark it turns to something that's almost a little Yesish. That part has some powerhouse bass work. It becomes more decidedly fusion-like as it makes its way toward the ending.
 
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