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Sky

Cadmium

Review by Gary Hill

This album is not nearly as classically oriented as some of their others are. Still, the classical elements do drive some of the pieces. Perhaps there is more of a mainstream rock vibe a lot of the times here. However you slice it, though, this is another solid disc of instrumental music that has a lot of prog and some fusion built into it. Mannheim Steamroller seems a valid reference for some of this, but the old familiar Alan Parsons Project element is still here a lot of the time, too.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2018  Volume 3 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Troika
Sleigh bells start this track off, and they work out into a classically based rock arrangement from there. This is a holiday piece, and as such reminds me a bit of Mannheim Steamroller. There are some ethnic music elements at play here. Ultimately, this is probably closest to folk prog than it is to anything else. There are some intriguing changes. The faster paced, more rocking section makes me think of a proggy version of The Ventures in a lot of ways.
Fayre
This has much more of a mainstream progressive rock structure to it. It's a high energy melodic romp that's quite cool.
A Girl in Winter
Folk music and progressive rock merge nicely on this number. While this is no big surprise, it's an effective song.
Mother Russia
This comes in mellower and quite classically oriented. It grows gradually before they eventually work it out to a rocking kind of jam on the ethnic music elements at the core of this composition. There are some intriguing twists and turns and differing textures. It does a great job of balancing mellower movements with more rocking ones and rock textures with traditional sounds. This is one of my favorite cuts on this disc.
Telex From Peru
Starting with more of a classical meets rock vibe, after a while this turns toward funk. It makes me think of both Alan Parsons Project and Pink Floyd in different ways. Actually, I'm reminded of Jeff Wayne's War of the Worlds album quite a bit. It drops way down before the four and a half minute mark, in almost a false ending. Some Spanish styled music rises up ever so gradually, transporting us to another place. Those elements combine with a rather jazzy thing to go forward.
The Boy From Dundee
Coming in mellow and stripped back, this gradually works upward from there. Jazz, new age textures and more merge on this as it gets more powered. It is more than anything else folk prog.
Night
More of a rocking sound is at the heart of this. It's arguably the most fusion-like piece on this set. It has some cool guitar sounds and driving grooves.
Then & Now
Balanced well between acoustic guitar and keyboards, this is a mellower number that has a lot of classical music in the mix.
Return to Me
A melodic and rather fun number, this has plenty of mainstream progressive rock and even some pop rock in the mix.
Son of Hotta
Fusion and psychedelic rock seem to merge here. This is a melodic number that's quite cool. It has some good energy, as well. It gets quite powerful and soaring further down the musical road.
 
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