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October 2023 - Issue 161
Progressive Rock CD Reviews
Brian Auger & Julie Tippetts - Encore
Review by Gary Hill
This album, from 1978, found former collaborators Brian Auger and Julie Tippets (formerly Driscoll) working together again.
Patrick Broguière - A Secret World
Review by Gary Hill
This is the latest album from French artist Patrick Broguière. The music is definitely progressive rock, but perhaps not always a completely tight fit.
Bröselmaschine - Live at Rockpalast
Review by Gary Hill
This band dates back all the way to the 1960s. This recording is from 2021.
Cairo (UK) - Nemesis
Review by Gary Hill
This band has such an intriguing sound. They mix modern, more hard rocking things with classic prog elements and more.
Todd Cochran - From The Vault: Notes For The Future
Review by Gary Hill
This release is not progressive rock precisely. It is definitely progressive music.
Kris Davis - Kris Davis' Diatom Ribbons - Live At The Village Vanguard
Review by Gary Hill
This album is so intriguing. It features a live performance of music that has a lot of jazz at its core.
Djabe - and Steve Hackett - Live in Gyor
Review by Gary Hill
Djabe and Steve Hackett have worked together quite a bit over the years. The world jazz act and former Genesis guitarist who has pursued a brilliant solo career for a long time work really well together.
Hawkwind - The Future Never Waits
Review by Gary Hill
When it comes to a band that has been around since the 1960s and released somewhere in the neighborhood of three dozen studio albums, it seems natural that a trademark sound would emerge.
Javon Jackson - With Peter Bradley Soundtrack and Original Score
Review by Gary Hill

A soundtrack album, this is instrumental jazz.

Dusan Jevtovic - City Hustling
Review by Gary Hill
This album is all about instrumental collaboration and exploration.
Kraan - Porta Westfalica 1975
Review by Gary Hill
Kraan are a long-running progressive rock band from Germany. This live set from 1975 has recently been released.
Planet X - Anthology (4 CD set)
Review by Gary Hill
I have to say that for my money Planet X was (and I say "was" because I doubt they'll ever do any music again, but I'd love to be proven wrong) one of the best instrumental acts ever.
Arnaud Quevedo & Friends - 2nd Life
Review by Gary Hill
Arnaud Quevedo and Friends have done it again.
Renaissance - A Song For All Seasons (vinyl reissue)
Review by Gary Hill
I love Renaissance. Their particular brand of more organic and folk oriented prog is effective and inventive.
Rush - A Farewell To Kings - 40th Anniversary Edition
Review by Greg Olma
In 1977, Rush were flying high with the success of their last studio release 2112.  That was a “make or break” record, and when fortune finally hit, it gave the band a sense that the direction they were heading was the right one.  
Soft Machine - Other Doors
Review by Gary Hill
Soft Machine has such a history of creating compelling jazz leaning music. This new album fits well within that legacy.
The Strawbs - The Magic of it All
Review by Gary Hill
To some degree you know what you will get with a new Strawbs album. David Cousins' vocals and songwriting are well established.
THUNDERCLAP - Strange Songs for Strange Times
Review by Gary Hill
This might be an odd choice for progressive rock. I think it fits, though.
Toyah - Live at Drury Lane (CD/DVD Set)
Review by Gary Hill
This new set includes a CD and DVD of a concert that was recorded for the BBC in 1981. It should be noted that the DVD (and CD) include three songs that were cut from a VHS release of the concert.
TrancEnd - Lilac
Review by Gary Hill
I've put this act under progressive rock both because they think of themselves as a prog band, and because I think they are a modern prog outfit.
Various Artists - Abbey Road Reimagined - A Tribute To The Beatles
Review by Gary Hill
The whole get a bunch of musicians together and record covers of an entire album thing is something I really like.
Various Artists - Meddle Reimagined: A Tribute to Pink Floyd
Review by Gary Hill
Tribute albums like this are always interesting, but also often disappointing.
Various Artists - sadness and oculi melancholiarum - springgarden
Review by Gary Hill
I need to get some conventions out of the way at the start of this. 
Mark Vickness - MVI (Mark Vickness Interconnected) - In the Rain Shadow
Review by Gary Hill
The mellow sounds here are in keeping with the kind of music I've learned to expect from him. World music, new age and fusion are all at play.
Yes - Revolution: The Music Roots Of Yes (vinyl)
Review by Gary Hill
This gets placed under progressive rock strictly because of the Yes connections.
Yes - The Music Roots of Yes
Review by Gary Hill
Let me say that I'm a Yes fanatic. I collect everything from the band, and in various formats.
Metal/Prog Metal CD Reviews
The Crown - The Burning / Eternal Death
Review by Gary Hill
This is a new double CD set from a Swedish death metal band that I hadn't heard before. It includes their first two albums, each featuring a bonus track that happen to be covers. .
Deicide - Bible Bashers
Review by Gary Hill
Deicide is an unusual act for me. In general I don't like death and black metal bands much.
Fireborn - Reflections
Review by Gary Hill
I have heard of this band being called "hard rock," rather than metal. There is some merit to that.
Livin' Evil - Prayers And Torments
Review by Gary Hill
I don't think I had ever heard of this band before, although this is their reincarnation. I had no real expectations for this album for that reason.
Raven - Faster Than The Speed Of Light - Live At The Inferno, Destroy All Monsters, Party Killers
Review by Gary Hill
This new collection from Raven gathers up two live albums, from different decades and puts them with a CD of covers.
Viral Tyrant - Vultures Like You
Review by Gary Hill
I'm a huge Black Sabbath fan. That makes me a bit of a sucker for doom.
Non-Prog CD Reviews
Ace of Spades - Born To Booze, Live To Sin - The Ultimate Tribute to Motörhead
Review by Gary Hill
Mot?ö?rhead was, in so many ways, a unique band. A large part of that came from the man, the legend, himself Lemmy Kilmister.
Mark Adams Band - California Bound
Review by Gary Hill

The music here has a real timeless quality to it. This album features roots music.

Angel - Once Upon A Time
Review by Gary Hill
Angel really created an interesting sound for themselves in the 1970s. It was part hard rock, part catchy pop hooks, part glam and a lot of arena rock.
Joe Boris - Anthology
Review by Gary Hill
Sometimes less is more. I think that would be the case here. There isn't a bad song here.
Eater - Ant
Review by Gary Hill
This is an album recorded in the early days of punk rock. The band ranged in age from 13 to 17 at the time.
Girlschool - The School Report 1978-2008, 5CD Book Set
Review by Gary Hill
This retrospective box set from Girlschool really captures the various flavors of the band. I know I said, "box set," but it is called a book set because it comes in a cool book, rather than a gravitational box.
Harry Hochman - Inside Out
Review by Gary Hill
If you are a fan of folk rock, country rock and other traditionally based melodic music, there will be plenty to like about this.
Howlin' Wolf - Boy, You Got More Blues Here! Vol. 2 (10-inch vinyl EP)
Review by Gary Hill
This new 45-RPM vinyl record from Bear Family is great. It deals up several tracks from an important artist on one record.
Ben E. King - Supernatural Soul
Review by Gary Hill
This posthumous release from Ben E. King includes a number of re-cut versions of his songs. I think that some of these work really well.
Ruffyunz - II
Review by Gary Hill
This second album from Ruffyunz might be even stronger than the first. Their blend of funk, hard rock, metal, psychedelia and prog is both familiar and fresh.
Tommy Sands - The Drugstore's Rockin': A Big Date With Tommy Sands
Review by Gary Hill
This collection of music from a rocker who was seen as potentially becoming competition to Elvis Presley is rather a mixed bag.
Ten Years After - A Space in Time: 50th Anniversary Two-CD Edition
Review by Gary Hill
This is an absolute classic album. This new double CD set was released, a little late, in honor of the 50th anniversary of its release. 
Trapeze - Midnight Flyers: Complete Recordings Volume Two 1974-1981
Review by Gary Hill
In the past I've always put Trapeze under progressive rock, in part because people generally land them there, and in part because the music often fit. 
Vanderwolf - 12 Little Killers
Review by Gary Hill
The music on this release is intriguing. It's varied. It has both a forward-looking focus and a basis in classic sounds.
Various Artists - Strontium 90, Shrimps & Gumbo: Lux & Ivy Dig Motorcycle Boots & Mutants
Review by Gary Hill
This set is unusual and strangely entertaining. It features rockabilly, surf-guitar and more
Cullen Wade and The Waters - Cullen Wade and the Waters
Review by Gary Hill
This album showcases an artist that is less interested in breaking new ground musically than in doing exceptional work in time-honored traditions.
Becky Wiles - Free Kind of Me
Review by Gary Hill
This is the debut album from Becky Wiles. The one unifying factor on this is her voice.
DVD/Video Reviews
John Coltrane - Jazz Icons: John Coltrane Live in '60, '61 & '65 DVD
Review by Gary Hill
As far as I'm concerned, when it comes to jazz, you just don't get much better than John Coltrane. I guess I'm probably not going out on a limb with that statement.
George Harrison - A Beatle In Benton: The Documentary 60th Anniversary DVD
Review by Gary Hill
I have to admit that, as a resident of Illinois for my entire life, I'm shocked that I never heard of this story before. 
Various Artists - Blood & Thunder: The Sound Of Alberts DVD
Review by Gary Hill
On the one hand, this documentary digs deep into the history of the Australian music scene. 
Various Artists - Goth: Explore the History DVD
Review by Gary Hill
This documentary feels a little like a Wikipedia documentary, but it doesn't seem to be one. 
Kurt Michaels
Interview by Gary Hill
Interview with Kurt Michaels from 2023
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December 2023 - Issue 162
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