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Ptolemea

Maze

Review by Gary Hill

I am tempted to land this one under progressive rock. There is a lot of proggy sound in several of the cuts. In fact, I'd say that some of these songs are definitely prog. However, I think in the long run, it's more hard rock informed by both metal and prog. The female vocals are so strong on this set, and I really like everything on this set a lot.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2020  Volume 2 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
I Wish I Could
The slowly building open section on here reminds me of some of the early psychedelic garage rock music out there. The vocals come in over the top of this stripped back arrangement, bringing a real soulful magic to the piece. Those vocals make me think of Annie Lennox just a bit. The cut eventually works out to powered up, harder rocking zones further down the road. It even has some proggy elements to it. It becomes a real powerhouse with definite AOR prog tendencies. I love the guitar solo on this thing.
Maze
Percussion brings this into being. The cut launches out from there into a jam that's part metal and part AOR prog. It drops way down to a rhythm section dominated movement for the entrance of the vocals. Metallic sounds come in from there to drive it forward. This is crunchy, classy and has some really great sounds.
Would Just Someone Understand
This is another AOR styled cut. It's hard rocking and has a real metal edge to it. It's one of the most straightforward pieces. The vocals bring a real blues rocking sound. This is a classy tune on a disc full of classy music. There is a dropped back section later in the piece that doesn't work as well for me.
Isolated
There is a dramatic acoustic guitar based movement that opens this. Vocals come over in an echoey way, adding to that drama. This remains understated in terms of the arrangement, but it's powerful and a bit mysterious, too.
Run
Starting with a stripped back blues rock arrangement, this powers out into some harder rocking stuff from there. It drops back down for the entrance of the potent vocals. As the number fires back outward further down the road, some of the proggy elements we heard earlier return. This number has some soaring moments and one of the strongest vocal performances of the set. Given the competition that says a lot. I love the tasty guitar soloing that emerges later, too.
Time Has Come
With a great balance between mellower and more rocking sections, this is another that has quite a bit of prog rock in the mix. That's particularly true of the powerhouse opening section. This gets into some great hard rocking, almost metallic, zones. The guitar solo is so expressive. This really is one of the most powerful pieces of the disc, making it a great choice for closer.
 
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