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Green Cathedral

Winter's Veil

Review by Gary Hill

The progressive rock presented here is modern. It's dark and moody in a lot of ways. Yet it also rocks out pretty heavily. It never really leans far into metallic territory as a lot of modern progressive rock does. The vocals are mostly female, but there are some male ones, too. This has some definite quirky moments and others that are more easily accessible. All of this works well to create a killer album.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2017  Volume 6 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Don't Look Back
Imagine mixing a bit of The Ventures with King Crimson and some punk rock. You'll have an idea of what much of the music here seems like. The female vocals bring something else to the table. This is a killer cut that's unique and especially effective. The instrumental sections in particular really bring that Ventures meets King Crimson thing to bear in full.
Maps (Of Ancient Sea Kings)
In some ways this is more of a melodic, mellow progressive rock number. The jam mid-track, though really fires out and heads upward. The vocals return over the top of that kind of musical element. This is modern prog, and a bit left of center, but it's also quite powerful and compelling. There are some parts that lean toward a tastefully off-kilter space rock. Some of the guitar soloing makes me think of Steve Howe just a bit.
Crimson
Piano leads this number out of the gate and holds it for a while. Other instrumentation comes in and we're off into another killer modern prog rock jam. There are hints of epic metal built into this, but overall it's more progressive rock oriented. It's a powerhouse cut. It drops to piano after a crescendo at the end.
Sea of Rust
More of a driving, energized jam is the idea here. There is a metal element to this number, too. As it drops to just the rhythm section, the vocals (the first male ones) join. The cut continues to work forward with more musical elements (and the female vocals) getting added to the mix. This is another killer cut that shows off such a great merging of modern prog and metallic elements. The smoking hot instrumental section that serves as the outro on this might be the most powerful musical passage of the whole album.
Drink
This is a bit more of a mainstream AOR rock cut. It's on the melodic side, though. The closing is quite powerful.
Return to You
Piano starts this number. It grows out gradually in a more mainstream progressive rock type arrangement. There are elements of this that make me think of Rush just a bit. I really love the cool lines of guitar soloing later in the piece.
Autumn
There is a bit of dreamy flow to this cool number. The guitar really takes control in the second half of the piece, creating all kinds of cool melodies and twists and turns in a very extended solo.
Winter's Veil
The title track is a pretty awesome adventure. It works through a lot of territory and manages to convey magic and drama throughout. It makes sense that the would both make this the title track and close the disc with it. It seems to really pull the sound of the band together so well. It's like the quintessential Green Cathedral song. It's a real stomping hot tune, too.

 

 
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