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October 2019 - Issue 138
Progressive Rock CD Reviews
AraPacis - Paradox of Denial
Review by Larry Toering
Montreal’s AraPacis’ Paradox Of Denial is a seven-track release in a long line of releases by this  band that bring several hard styles of rock together, including prog and darker forms of rock and female fronted metal.
Asia - Aria
Review by Greg Olma

In 1994, Asia released Aria which was commercially a bit of a failure.  The previous studio record Aqua did much better, but by this time it really was the Geoff Downes/John Payne show. 

BangTower - The Road We Travel
Review by Gary Hill
This is the brand new disc from BangTower. While this is also released in digital form, this CD includes an EP titled “Hey, Where’d Everybody Go?,” which is not on the digital version.
Brooke Benson - I Am the Sun
Review by Gary Hill
I am landing this under progressive rock more as art rock than real prog. There is a definite artistic edge to this music.
Brunod / Li Calzi / Savoldelli - Nostalgia Progressiva
Review by Gary Hill

This is an intriguing set. It features new rendition of various progressive rock based pieces, hence the title. These guys don't play it straight, though.

Coarbegh - Sound and Flow of London
Review by Gary Hill

This act is an ambient project that started as an off-shoot of the band Poor Genetic Material. Just that connection would probably have landed this in the progressive rock section of Music Street Journal, but the music here qualifies on its own.

The Cool Moonmist Mountain Band - Fire Sign EP
Review by Gary Hill

Whether this belongs under progressive rock or not probably ties into whether you think Synergy or Kraftwerk fit under prog. Personally, I do, but I could see people disagreeing with that.

Crocodile - Howling Mad Black Music Under Hot Stars
Review by Gary Hill
Crocodile is a progressive rock band from Austin, Texas, and this is their second album. While progressive rock and Texas might not seem to really go together in some minds, these guys make it work.
Fruup - Future Legends
Review by Gary Hill
This was the debut album from Irish progressive rock band Fruup. The sound here calls to mind acts like Flash and Nektar quite a bit.
Fruup - Modern Masquerades
Review by Gary Hill
This is the fourth retro review from this act I’ve done for this issue. These guys were an Irish progressive rock act from the 1970s.
Fruup - Prince of Heaven’s Eyes
Review by Gary Hill
Fruup was an Irish progressive rock band from the 1970s. This was their third album.
Fruup - Seven Secrets
Review by Gary Hill
This is the second release from Fruup. It’s also part of a new box set that includes the first four albums.
Fruup - Wise As Wisdom: The Dawn Albums 1973-1975
Review by Gary Hill
This brand new box set is quite cool and a great value. It includes four original albums from Irish progressive rock band Fruup.
/fyoog/ - Temp'rall Sho'gazing
Review by Gary Hill

I could definitely see this landing under "non-prog" because of the jazz basis of it. The thing is, while there are a few songs that land purely there, plenty of others cross into proto-prog or Rock in Opposition zones.

Hawkestrel - The Future Is Us
Review by Gary Hill

The quick story is that this is an album with a lot of Hawkwind alums providing their talents. The longer tale is that it was assembled by Alan Davey with various parts coming from sessions recorded over the years.

Rocky Kramer - Firestorm
Review by Gary Hill

First, I'd like to talk about the classification of this album. It really could have gone under heavy metal.

Erin Jane Laroue - Chalant
Review by Larry Toering

Chalant by Erin Jane Laroue is an easy listening masterpiece of piano and vocal storytelling with major inflections of prog.

Lucifer’s Friend - Black Moon
Review by Gary Hill
Lucifer’s Friend is a band with a long history. They are also an act that is quite hard to classify.
Magnatar - Parallel Worlds
Review by Gary Hill
This album is quite strong. It’s an instrumental set that lands somewhere in the vicinity shared by fusion and 1970s progressive rock.
Midnight Lands - Destroy the World
Review by Gary Hill

This new disc is pretty interesting stuff. It is not a perfect fit under the "progressive rock" banner, but I'm happy enough putting it there.

Moon Letters - Until They Feel the Sun
Review by Gary Hill
Those looking for modern prog that calls to mind the classic era of the genre should really look to this album and band.
Moon Over Mountain - The Colors of Life
Review by Gary Hill
This might not belong under progressive rock. There isn’t a lot of rock here.
Name the Moon - Space Force
Review by Gary Hill

This band hails from my hometown of Rockford, Illinois. With no insult to any of the other great bands who have come from Rockford, they are among the most talented and intriguing acts from the area.

Joe Olnick - Band – Iguana
Review by Gary Hill
I reviewed a previous set from Joe Olnick and didn’t land it under progressive rock. This one really isn’t prog, either.
Potter's Daughter - and Annie Haslam - Blood and Water (CD single)
Review by Gary Hill

This is a new single from an act I've not heard of before. Of course, the appearance of Annie Haslam brings this more toward familiar known commodities, though.

Potter's Daughter - and Annie Haslam - Blood and Water (vinyl single)
Review by Gary Hill

This is a new single from an act I've not heard of before. Of course, the appearance of Annie Haslam brings this more toward familiar known commodities, though.

The Rick Ray Band - Dark Matter Halo
Review by Gary Hill
I’ve reviewed two sets from this act in the past. These guys just keep evolving.
The Residents - God In Three Persons – 3CD pREServed Edition
Review by Gary Hill
In 1988 The Residents released a concept album titled “God in Three Persons.” This new edition is a three-disc set that includes the original album on the first disc with a couple bonus tracks.
Dave Schoepke - Drums on Low
Review by Gary Hill
This new release features only one thing – drums. These aren’t drum solos, though, but rather songs composed strictly for drums.
Shining Pyramid - Children of the Stones
Review by Gary Hill
This is an instrumental prog set. A lot of it is in the mellower zone, a bit like Tangerine Dream. 
The Syn - Syndestructible (vinyl release)
Review by Gary Hill

This is a new reissue of The Syn's Syndestructible album on vinyl. I have to say that to me, this is probably the medium on which you should be listening to this set.

Judy Vamp-Shire - Beyond Imagination
Review by Gary Hill
While the music here might not immediately conjure up the spookiness of the Halloween season, the lyrics certainly do. From vampires to witches and more, this is spooky stuff.
Mark Wingfield & Gary Husband - Tor & Vale
Review by Gary Hill
If you like freeform experimental music, you will probably love this. It has a real Rock in Opposition flair to it, but is based strictly on piano and guitar with just some “soundscapes” added to the mix.
Metal/Prog Metal CD Reviews
Demon - The Unexpected Guest
Review by Mike Korn
The New Wave of British Heavy Metal that exploded in the late 70s and early 80s boasted a long list of bands that had the potential to be huge but never grabbed that elusive brass ring.
Evergrey - The Atlantic
Review by Greg Olma

I admit that I was not an Evergrey fan from the beginning.  It wasn’t until a friend lent me a copy of In Search of Truth that I finally understood why he was forever trying to get me into this band. 

Riot - Live in America: The Official Bootleg Box Set Vol 3 - 1981-1988
Review by Gary Hill

Riot definitely deserved to be a bigger band than they were. While they have had a following all along, they got largely lost in terms of mainstream metal fans, largely because of the rise of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal and hair metal.

STIMULI - They Are
Review by Gary Hill

This album was actually released last year, but there is a new promo push as they've just released a new video. The disc perhaps doesn't fit under metal, but in terms of nu-metal, I'd say it does.

Non-Prog CD Reviews
Rob Alexander - When I'm Gone (for George Michael) (digital single)
Review by Gary Hill

Adult contemporary music like this is not necessarily my kind of thing. That said, this song is powerful and packed with a lot of beauty and style.

Arden and the Wolves - Who Can You Trust?
Review by Gary Hill

Arden and the Wolves is an LA based alternative rock act. The name of the group comes from lead singer Arden Leigh.

CAIN - My Mind (digital single)
Review by Gary Hill

This new single has an interesting sound. It is rocking, but also electronic.

Cass Clayton - Play Nice
Review by Gary Hill

The music here is generally laid back, but there are differing levels of that. It's often retro in texture. Most of it is jazzy, but there are elements of other musical forms sprinkled throughout.

Climax Blues Band - Albums 1969-1972
Review by Gary Hill
This new box set gathers up the first five albums from Climax Blues Band. You might notice that their sound really morphs over the period.
Collective Soul - Blood
Review by Gary Hill
I have to admit that I’ve always sort of been in the periphery when it comes to this band. I’ve heard quite a bit of their stuff, and liked it, but I’ve never called myself a fan.
Dirty Chime - 5150 (digital single)
Review by Gary Hill

This new single is so cool. It's modern R&B with some hip hop at its heart. That said, though, the electronic groove brings a different flavor.

Tanya Gallagher - One Hand On My Heart
Review by Gary Hill

This is an interesting set. The sound here varies quite a bit from one tune to another, but yet it all fits as one cohesive unit.

Glenn Hughes - The Official Bootleg Box: Volume Two 1993-2013
Review by Gary Hill

This massive CD box set gathers a batch of Glenn Hughes bootlegs. I'm guessing you could figure that out from the title, though, right?

Humble Pie - Up Our Sleeve: Official Bootleg Vol 3
Review by Gary Hill

This new collection, as you can guess from the title, boxes up several bootleg live recordings from Humble Pie. As is clearly stated on the box, the recording quality isn't up to standards one would expect from a professional live album.

The Jorgensens - The Lexington Stretch
Review by Gary Hill

This set is very old-school in sound and often instrumentation. It's also classy from start to finish.

Nathaniel Land - Black Blue Sky
Review by Gary Hill
Nathaniel Land’s brand of music is set in sort of a singer-songwriter traditional place. It has some definite alternative rock in the mix, too.
Lillimure - Lillimure
Review by Gary Hill

If you have a yearning for the jazzy arrangements of the past, this album will probably fill your needs. On the other hand, if you like the modern elements of artists like Meghan Trainor, there is something here for you.

The Members - Version
Review by Gary Hill

The Members are a punk band dating back to the original days of the 1970s. This new album includes their covers of a lot of great music.

Todd Warner Moore - Starry Sounds
Review by Gary Hill

I previously reviewed another disc from this artist. In that review I said that it needed some more variety to keep it more interesting throughout the release.

Poco - The Epic Years 1972-1976
Review by Gary Hill
This new box set gathers up all of Poco’s albums on Epic in one place. Of course, you probably got that from the title, right?
Resurrection Fern - Savanna (digital single)
Review by Gary Hill

Do you like female based acoustic guitar backed music? If so, you will probably enjoy this.

The Rightly So - Vandura
Review by Gary Hill

This act is a modern one based out of New York state. Listening to them, you might think they came out of an earlier era and more Southern location.

Mitch Ryder - Appearing with Guests: Detroit Breakout!
Review by Gary Hill

Mitch Ryder is known for his particular flavor of old school rock and roll and blues rock. This album delivers plenty of that.

Les Techno - Edge of the World (digital single)
Review by Gary Hill

The latest single from Les Techno, this is cool, and a good continuation and expansion of his catalog. It's dance music, but there is a lot more than that to it.

Pat Travers - Swing!
Review by Gary Hill
Pat Travers is best known for bluesy, guitar-based hard rock. We get some of that influence here.
U.K. Subs - Subversions II
Review by Gary Hill
This, as the title suggests, is the U.K. Subs’ second album of covers. I’ve not heard the first one, but if this is any indication, it would be well worth a listen.
Various Artists - Destination Moon: First Man On Moon
Review by Gary Hill

This is quite a cool album. It's a tribute to man's first journey to another world, our moon. It includes a wide variety of music along with a couple spoken pieces from history. 

Zan Zone - It’s Only Natural
Review by Gary Hill
I can hear the conversation now. “What kind of a band do you want to put together?” .
DVD/Video Reviews
Cheap Trick - From Tokyo To You (Live In Japan) DVD
Review by Greg Olma

This DVD was released in 2004, a year after Special One was released.  My memory of this time-frame is that while the album was not that big of a hit, the band always delivered the goods live. 

Ian Gillan - with the Don Airey Band and Orchestra - Contractual Obligation BluRay
Review by Larry Toering
Ian Gillan with the Don Airey Band and Orchestra’s Contractual Obligation on BluRay is a special show to go with the three-disc album set which contains other shows.
Starry Eyed and Laughing - Live at Rockpalast 1976 DVD and CD set
Review by Gary Hill

I had never heard of this band before getting this set. They were a cool Americana group.

Joe Louis Walker - Viva Las Vegas Live DVD/CD set
Review by Gary Hill

This live performance from Joe Louis Walker is purely on fire. The man can play some seriously mean guitar, but the vocals are great, too.

Wishbone Ash - Live At Rockpalast 1976 DVD and CD set
Review by Gary Hill

While this DVD is perhaps not up to the quality of today's high definition video releases, it was great quality for the time period. That's because it was recorded for German television.

Interviews
Crocodile
Interview by Gary Hill

Interview with Kevin Sims and Ted Thomas of Crocodile from 2019

Concert Reviews
Deep Purple - Live in Portland, Oregon, September 2019
Review by Larry Toering
Of all the Deep Purple tours of America in the past 15 years, this is only the second actual headlining tour I can think of, as I’ve attended all of them myself.
Evergrey - Live in Dallas, Texas, September 2019
Review by Greg Olma

I was really pleased to see that Evergrey were going to play in the states but unfortunately, Houston was not one of their stops. 

 
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