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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Chest Rockwell

Mentis Oculi

Review by Gary Hill

I have reviewed two other sets from this act. The first was most experimental, while the second landed into more full metal territory. Both were put under progressive rock because that's where Chest Rockwell fits, even though this is not the prog of old. I think that this album probably sits somewhere between the other two stylistically. It might be the best album from the act, though.

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Track by Track Review
The Syrtis of His Patrimony
Coming in fast-paced and driving this has a cool almost nu-metal angle to it, but with some psychedelic edges. It turns more toward a stoner metal sound, but the fast paced riffing has an almost Rushish thing going on. This has a lot of that stoner metal thing at play as the vocals are added. This is such a classy opener.
The Charybdis of His Possessions
I dig the fast paced prog does metal vibe as this thing gets going. Psychedelia, metal prog and more blend together on this thing. It's dark, artsy, driving and so cool. There are definitely some space rock sections and angles to this.
The same mix of sounds are in charge here. There is a vocal dominated break at one point along this road. This also has some decidedly Sabbath-like moments.
The Cartesian Theater
I love the guitar sound on this. The cut is the very definition of stoner metal merged with space rock. It's also one of my favorite tunes here.
The Old Man of the Mountain
The closer is the epic of the set, weighing in at 22-and-a-half minutes of music. A hard rocking guitar brings the track in. That evolves into a droning section. This evolves gradually. It is another with healthy helpings of both metal and space rock. It is so heavy, but it's also decidedly space oriented. There are also some more purely progressive rock oriented things at times here. This goes through quite a bit of evolution, and at times feels closer to shoegaze. It's a powerhouse number that's the real highlight of the set. It might also be the best thing I've ever heard from Chest Rockwell, and I like this outfit quite a bit.
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Metal/Prog Metal
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