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The Raptor Trail

Devil on an Indian

Review by G. W. Hill
The prog rock these guys do is very much guitar oriented. It's modern, but has its roots in classic prog, too. I suppose the closest comparison is to Echolyn, but that's not a tight fit, either. However you define it, though, this is an exceptional release.
Track by Track Review
Ten Bears

Some very atmospheric stuff makes up the beginning of this. Then organ joins. A bit of a crunchy element is added to the mix for a short time. From there it works to more of a melodic prog turned alternative rock vibe takes over for the vocals. This is definitely classy stuff. There are some powered up movements that really soar on this thing. The guitar soloing is particularly meaty, too. I really love this song. It's a perfect way to start things in style. There is a thing at the end that sounds like a construction site.

How the West Was Won
I love the killer melodic rock groove that starts this piece. There is some really amazing instrumental work on this thing. It rocks like crazy and is high energy and tastefully unusual. If I were to compare to anything, it would probably be Echolyn. A percussion segment segues this into the next one.
Quaker Pets
A mellow bit starts this. Then a hard rocking guitar brings it into a different territory altogether. There is definitely more of a melodic prog vibe as it continues. There is a cool instrumental excursion that gives way to some screaming hot stuff. The alternation between mellower and more rocking as this continues is great. The closing  hard edged jam is  purely amazing.
Dream Catcher
The sounds of a police chase start in the previous cut and continue into this number. Then some percussion based music brings it into being from there. This remains mellow and quite percussive, but gets involved. Some melody comes across ever so gradually. There is kind of a weird space rock bit later. It's noisy and echoey and moves from one speaker to another. Up until that point, though, this instrumental was mostly a percussion workout. Even so, it's more a textural atmospheric thing even then. That's not to say it's not cool, because it definitely is. It runs straight into the next piece.
Wolf Medicine
As this comes into being, ir's mid-tempo and feels very much like mellow, melodic fusion. The guitar soloing is very expressive. Here is another track that makes good use of the contrast between mellower and more rocking stuff. The verses are the mellower things, feeling very ballad-like and quite pretty. the heavy sections land somewhere between heavy metal and Pink Floyd bombast. This is another powerhouse song that's just so cool.
Doorstep
Imagine Echolyn mixed with Spock's Beard. You might be pretty close to the sound of this cut. It's very mainstream, but it's definitely prog. It is another with a nice balance between louder and softer sounds. It's great melodic prog rocker.
Froth Squelch
The groove that opens this is almost funky. There is almost a bit of Sly Stone here. Yet, overall the cut lands in the same modern prog territory as we've heard throughout this cut. It is just such a great tune. In fact, this is one of my favorites here. Given the competition, that says a lot. There are some great hard rocking moments here, but the whole thing is exceptional, so that should be no surprise.
Without a Trace
This starts with the sounds of a train and a howling wolf in the distance. Then guitar joins and we're on our way. This is essentially a modern proggy version of a power ballad. It seems like the first half of a song completed by the next piece.  
The Vanishing Point
More powered up and hard rocking, this is a killer modern prog tune. It's very energized and classy. It is balanced with mellower dropped down sections, too. That's almost a Raptor Trail trademark. So are scorching hot melodic guitar solos, like the one in the midst of this cut.
Red Giant
Hard rocking as heck, this is also very much a prog piece. As much as I like a lot of the other stuff, this is very much the highlight of the set. That makes it a great choice to close the disc. To me it's part metal and part the more rocking side of Pink Floyd.
 
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