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April 2022 - Issue 153
Progressive Rock CD Reviews
Ambigram - Ambigram
Review by Gary Hill
This is a unique and intriguing release. The blend of sounds is decidedly progressive rock, and it has some particularly powerful songs.
Apocalypse - The Castle
Review by Gary Hill
The Chicago area might not be known as a hot-bed of progressive rock, but maybe it should be. I mean, Styx was really a very prog-based act, especially in the early days.
Jason Blake - Imaginary Cages
Review by Gary Hill
The latest solo release from Jason Blake, this is made up of Warr Guitar solo pieces. There is a good range of sound within this set.
Rosalie Cunningham - Two Piece Puzzle
Review by Gary Hill
This new album is perhaps not precisely a one-person creation, it's not far from it, though.
Andrew Cyrille / William Parker / Enrico Rava - 2 Blues for Cecil
Review by Gary Hill
This album is an instrumental set played on flugelhorn (Enrico Rava), double bass (William Parker) and drums (Andrew Cyrille).
Erewän - How Will All This End?
Review by Gary Hill
Celtic rock and prog rock have been partners for a very long time. This new album continues that tradition.
Alex Anthony Faide - Particles of the Infinite
Review by Gary Hill
This is an unusual release. It's an instrumental disc with the music often in the heavy range, but sometimes working to mellower territory.
Fields - Feeling Free – The Complete Recordings 1971-1973
Review by Gary Hill
This is an intriguing band that I've never heard before. The group was formed by drummer Andrew McCulloch, keyboardist Graham Field and bassist/vocalist Alan Barry.
Five Day Rain - Good Year – The Five Day Rain Anthology
Review by Gary Hill
After hearing this album, and reading the story, I have to wonder what other gems are out there, recorded but never released.
Robert Fripp - Music For Quiet Moments
Review by Gary Hill
A collection like this is hard to capture in a track by track review setting. These tracks are, by definition, more atmospheric and textural.
Hawkwind - Dust of Time - 1969-2021 (2 CD Edition)
Review by Gary Hill
Without question, Hawkwind is one of my all-time favorite bands. So, I can't possibly review any Hawkwind release without that bias coming into it.
Held By Trees - Solace
Review by Gary Hill
This is an unusual release. It's an instrumental set with a wide range. The opening track is a very sedate one, setting the expectations for one type of release.
Jostaberry - Hello Turbine
Review by Gary Hill
The previous set I reviewed from this act seemed to have a split personality (in a good way). That's at least as true of this one.
King Crimson - Music Is Our Friend: Live In Washington D.C. and Albany 2021
Review by Gary Hill
I have to say that for my money, the modern incarnation of King Crimson really is probably the best. The reason I say that is that there are distinct periods of the band throughout their history.
Lifesigns - Altitude
Review by Gary Hill
I've heard this band referred to as cross-over prog or AOR or any number of other things that describe a sound that's prog, but not quite. Or at least that's my interpretation of those labels.
Little North - Familiar Places
Review by Gary Hill
At its core Little North is a trio consisting of piano (Benjamin Nørholm Jacobsen), bass (Martin Brunbjerg Rasmussen) and drums (Lasse Jacobsen).
Muse - The Resistance
Review by John Pierpoint
First of all, a little confession: I was not a fan of Muse in their early years, but a work colleague kept on trying to persuade me how good they were and loaned me copies of their first few albums.
The OGJB Quartet - Ode To O
Review by Gary Hill
This act gets its name from the names of the participants. 
The Residents - Wormwood Box
Review by Gary Hill
This is quite an impressive set. It includes nine-CDs and quite a bit of the music here has never been released before.
Markus Reuter - Truce 2
Review by Gary Hill
Touch-guitar-master Markus Reuter can always be counted on for powerful music that is unique and yet somehow strangely inviting.
Alberto Rigoni - Songs for Souls
Review by Gary Hill
Alberto Rigoni is a bass player. In terms of playing music, that was always my first and most prominent instrument, too.
Status Foe - Falling Awake
Review by Gary Hill
This is certainly not progressive rock in the traditional sense. Then again, that purist definition seems limited to me.
Natsuki Tamura - Summer Tree
Review by Gary Hill
Except for one of its four tracks, this is a truly solo album. Natsuki Tamura plays trumpet, piano and wok.
Tempest - Going Home
Review by Gary Hill
You just can't go wrong with Tempest. They consistently deliver quality music that encompasses traditional Celtic elements, progressive rock and hard rock.
Stephan Thelen - Fractal Guitar 2 - Remixes
Review by Gary Hill
As you might imagine from the title, this set features remixes of songs from Stephan Thelen's Fractal Guitar 2 album. It includes three different remixes of the song "Point of Inflection."
Third Development - The Thought of Tomorrow
Review by Gary Hill
I have landed this under progressive rock, but it's not a tight fit, but does qualify as art music.
Yang - Designed For Disaster
Review by Gary Hill
I previously reviewed another set by this band. That one was a fully instrumental album.
Yes - Fly from Here: Return Trip
Review by Gary Hill
This is an unusual release. In 2011 Yes released the album Fly From Here.
Metal/Prog Metal CD Reviews
Eliminator - Ancient Light
Review by Gary Hill
I have not heard this British metal band before. Based on the strength of this album, I'm going to keep my eyes open for more of their music.
Revolution Engine - Fist and Flame
Review by Gary Hill
I was just sent this for a review in February of 2022, 
Station - Perspective
Review by Gary Hill
Perhaps this doesn't fit under heavy metal. It has enough of the hair metal kind of sound and arena pop metal concept for me to land it there.
Tokyo Blade - Fury
Review by Gary Hill
The latest disc from Tokyo Blade, this was recorded during Covid lockdown. There are some particularly strong songs here.
Non-Prog CD Reviews
The Ataris - Live in Chicago 2019
Review by Gary Hill
This live album captures the Ataris delivering a sound that is part alternative rock, part punk, part emo and more. It's largely effective, but not all that unique.
Dick Aven - The Dick Aven Band - Spin So Long
Review by Gary Hill
The mix of sounds on this set is so cool. There is a lot of retro jazz and soul built into the sonic tapestry.
Joe Bonamassa - Time Clocks
Review by Gary Hill
I really have to preface this review with a little bit of a rant about music and fandom in general.
Ed Bruce - See The Big Man Cry - The complete SUN and Wand recordings 1957 – 65, plus...
Review by Gary Hill
This new collection from Bear Family gathers up a lot of recordings (some that are previously unreleased) from Ed Bruce and puts them all together on one CD.
Sonny Burgess - Rocks
Review by Gary Hill
Sonny Burgess apparently had quite the following over the years, even though he's not the household name of some of his contemporaries.
Johnny Burnette - And the Rock 'n Roll Trio (vinyl)
Review by Gary Hill
I haven't heard this artist before. The retro sounds here vary from more hard rocking to 50s pop styles.
Ryan Dart - Edge of the Wild
Review by Gary Hill
Ryan Dart is a Colorado based singer-songwriter. This album captures the exact images that that definition implies for me.
Ellanora DellErba - Lost To A Coastline
Review by Gary Hill
This is such an interesting album. There are three songs here that really stand out in terms of quality.
Melody Duncan - Wolf Song
Review by Gary Hill
This set from Melody Duncan is intriguing. It has a real artsv vibe to it.
Walter Egan - Fascination
Review by Gary Hill
You can always count on Walter Egan for classic roots rocking music. The songs never really push any kind of envelope, but just deliver in a timeless way.
Matt Hannah - House of Illusion
Review by Gary Hill
I previously reviewed a couple of other releases from Matt Hannah.
Johnny Kidd - and the Pirates - Please Don't Touch! (vinyl and CD)
Review by Gary Hill
This is a great new set that features a vinyl record (10' 45 RP LP) along with a CD. It comes from Bear Family Records, so you know it's a quality product with extras.
Steve Noonan - Dreamland
Review by Gary Hill
This is a brand new album that lands more or less in the singer-songwriter zone. It has a lot of folk rock and more in the mix.
The Sea At Midnight - Oceans
Review by Gary Hill
If you like 80s music, and particularly The Cure, you are likely to really enjoy this. A four song EP, everything here is strong.
Ches Smith - We All Break - Path Of Seven Colors
Review by Gary Hill
This double CD set is apparently a special edition of the group's latest album, with a bonus disc of the previous one.
Spirit - Twelve Dreams of Dr Sardonicus, Remastered & Expanded 2CD Edition
Review by Gary Hill
I'm sure you'll get disagreement as to which album from an artist is their best, but it's a safe bet that Twelve Dreams of Dr. Sardonicus is up close to the top for most Spirit fans.
Surge and the Swell - Offering
Review by Gary Hill
There is a great mainstream roots based rock sound here. The musical tapestry covers a good amount of territory within that general heading.
Various Artists - The Gene Vincent Connection
Review by Gary Hill
Commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the death of Gene Vincent, this CD collects covers and more with connections to Vincent.
Gene Vincent - We Sure Do Miss You (Record and CD)
Review by Gary Hill
This new release of Gene Vincent music is pretty cool.
Virginia and the Slims - Busman's Holiday
Review by Gary Hill
This act specializes in swing music. I think that when they embrace that, and particularly the jazzy, blues side of it is when they excel.
DVD/Video Reviews
Cinderella - Rocked, Wired & Bluesed: The Greatest Video Hits DVD
Review by Greg Olma
I would like to just say that I miss the old days of MTV when they played videos, and (just like radio before) I was turned on to some great music.  
Dokken - Unchain The Night DVD
Review by Greg Olma
The 1980s were a great time for hard rock and metal.  There were a lot of bands, but some of them rose above the usual formula and consistently put out albums that I feel stood the test of time.
Mick Jagger - The Ultimate Performer
Review by Gary Hill
I have to admit to being a big Rolling Stones fan, and, of course, a big Mick Jagger fan. So, I was interested in checking out this video biography.
Uriah Heep - Sailing The Sea Of Light DVD
Review by Greg Olma
Uriah Heep’s career has spanned over five decades now, so it only stands to reason that there have been many line-up changes. 


 
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