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Progressive Rock CD Reviews


The Quiet Rebellion of Compromise

Review by Gary Hill

This is apparently a concept album about depression and specifically suicidal ideations. That's a topic that's of particular interest to me, so this has a real importance from that point of view. The music here adds to the poignant nature of the disc. It seems to merge modern and classic progressive rock concepts, while also bringing in industrial, electronic and even death metal moments. All in all, this is potent musically and thematically, and a very strong release. This act weaves a very unique and compelling sonic tapestry.

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Track by Track Review
Highest Tower, Deepest Well
Ambience brings this in. A piano joins and paints melodic lines. As the arrangement grows, powerhouse guitar is added to the mix. The cut continues to grow outward from there, establishing a modern prog sound that seems to channel both Dream Theater and Porcupine Tree sides of that equation at the same time. We're taken through a number of changes along the road here, and this is a great opener.
Quiet Rebellion
Moodier and mellower as it gets underway, there are symphonic elements at play here. After a drop back to a piano dominated movement, the cut turns more rocking, but it's nowhere near as heavy as the opener was.
Dreamless Sleep
Somewhere between the first two pieces in terms of intensity, there is a bit of an industrial element here, along with some Gothic tendencies. While I wouldn't consider this metal by any means, it does turn more hard rocking, landing closer to that territory in some ways. This has some great melodies and hooks. It's one of the catchiest things here, but still has some proggy tendencies at play. It gets moodier on the closing section.
Sunday 8 AM
Piano gets us started here and holds the track for a time. A martial drum joins, and the vocals eventually come in over the top of that arrangement. This is definitely moody and mellow. Other instruments join after a while, but don't really bring it up much. There are some whispered voices over the top as the song starts to gradually rise upward. After the three-minute mark this grows out to something a bit less moody and more direct. Cool prog textures work over the top. It gets more driving and mainstream as it continues, but those proggy, spacey things still temper it. As a horn wails over the top of this extended instrumental movement, it really feels like Pink Floyd to me. That section eventually ends the piece.
Demagogue Communion
Coming in more hard-rocking, this drops to a mellower, quirky arrangement for the entrance of the vocals. This works through a number of sections. It has some almost symphonic prog mellower movements along with the more rocking ones. There are some alternative rock based parts of this cut.
At almost 14-minutes long, this is the epic of the set. It comes in electronic with a spoken vocal line. It has a real techno angle to it. That part grows to peak around the two-minute mark. From there we get a more pure proggy arrangement based around keyboards. It gets into more industrial zones with a cool rubbery bass line as it works out from that movement. Then the keyboards take over as that short section drops away. A piano dominated section serves as the backdrop for more vocals. We're eventually brought into more rocking territory. There is a mellower section further down the road with what sounds like a voice on the television talking. After that voice drops away the cut takes on a real Pink Floyd like vibe before that snippet comes back over that backdrop. It drops to just that voice eventually, and then piano takes command. There is a burst of hard rocking sound. After a return to the mellower, we get a driving, metallic jam that takes over. Death metal vocals come in over the top of that. After that voice ends the cut remains in a fairly mellow proggy instrumental mode to end.
Guest of Honour
For some reason I'm reminded of modern Marillion as this number starts with a mellower, melodic vibe. There are some Beatles-like elements and a lot of classic rock in the mix. This eventually gets more driving and rocking, but moody modern prog remains in the driver's seat. It has some almost shoegaze vibes before it's over, but I can also make out more of those Pink Floyd things.
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