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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Nick Fletcher


Review by Gary Hill

This instrumental album features a nice range of sounds. Overall, it probably fits best under fusion (and we put that under prog), but there are things here that are closer to progressive rock and others that lean heavily on harder rock than that. All in all, it's an intriguing and varied ride. It should be mentioned that Dave Bainbridge provides keyboards on several tracks.

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Track by Track Review
A Wave on the Ocean of Eternity (Prelude)
Starting with ambient keyboard textures, eventually an electric guitar rises up to help guide this number forward. At times the soloing makes me think of David Gilmour. It also gets quite classical as it continues, but still with a rock and roll edge.
Overture to the Cosmos (Overture)
While this still has classical and proggy elements at play, it's much harder rocking. This is  a shred guitar kind of piece that rocks like crazy. This drops down to ambient stuff near the end to take it out.
Riding the Event Horizon (Scene 1)
This comes in with more of a fusion element. It's melodic and quite intriguing. This grows and evolves and includes a scorching hot guitar solo section later. That gets pretty heavily into shred territory before it's over.
Ziggurat of Dreams Part 1 (Interlude 1)
A mellower piece, this is another with a lot of fusion in the mix. The guitar soloing is melodic and intriguing.
The Fifth Parallel (Scene 2)
Coming in on the mellower side, this grows out to a melodic fusion-type jam as it continues. This works through a number of changes and has some great moments.
Aphelion (Scene 3)
Another on the melodic end of the spectrum, this is more pure prog than some of the rest are. It's got plenty of fusion in the mix, too, though. The piano solo really intensifies that fusion angle.
Ziggurat of Dreams Part 2 (Interlude 2)
This is a mellow number with a lot of atmospheric elements. It's trippy and quite intriguing.
The Helix (Scene 4)
More pure fusion gets us underway here. This cut works outward from there with some killer instrumental melodic sounds. This gets more powered up as it continues, but never rises to the rocking levels that some of the music here does.
To the Stars We Shall Return (Interlude 3)
Trippy, mellower sounds start this. Percussion rises up to greet the ambient elements. Then a slow moving, fusion guitar begins to paint over the top of that backdrop.
The Journey to Varanasi (Scene 5)

There are some mysterious vibes to this, but it's also harder rocking. This definitely fits under fusion, but it has plenty of psychedelia and progressive rock in the mix. There are some Middle-Eastern vibes at play at times. This is quite dynamic and powerful. There is a cool guitar solo based exploration around the half way mark that features some cool bass work. It works back out into more familiar territory from there. I think, as strong as this whole release is, that this might be my favorite track here.

Standing on the Edge of Time (Denoument)
This is another that has some Gilmour-like guitar work. It's a melodic and slower number that's more fully under the progressive rock heading. It's a great way to end the set in style.
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