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December 2018 - Issue 133
Progressive Rock CD Reviews
Eric Anders and Mark O'Bitz - Matterbloomlight (digital single)
Review by Gary Hill

I reviewed something from Eric Anders previously, and it didn't land under progressive rock. I'd say that this one fits there.

Paolo Baltaro - Live Pillheads (Vinyl)
Review by Gary Hill

This new vinyl release is classy stuff. First off the record itself is nice quality vinyl. Then it also includes a CD of the music (with two bonus tracks) to accompany it.

Birdsong At Morning - Signs and Wonders
Review by Gary Hill

This is a music CD. It's also a video album. The double disc set includes both an audio CD and a BluRay disc.


Coyote Poets of the Universe - Strange Lullaby
Review by Gary Hill

I have reviewed this act in the past and always landed them under progressive rock. I'm going to do the same this time, but don't expect traditional prog rock here.

Curved Air - Second Album (Expanded and Re-mastered Edition)
Review by Gary Hill

This new reissue from Curved Air is exceptional. First you get the entire second album.

Deep Energy Orchestra - Playing with Fire
Review by Gary Hill

This is quite an intriguing set. It features a sound that seems to be a merging of world music of the Indian variety, fusion and progressive rock.

Emiliano Deferrari - Monty
Review by Gary Hill

There is a style of progressive rock that is exclusive to Italy. This album definitely fits within that zone.

Joe Deninzon - Joe Deninzon and Stratospheerius - Guilty of Innocence (vinyl)
Review by Gary Hill

It seems so appropriate that this review is running in MSJ's final issue of 2018 because the CD of this was reviewed in the first issue of the year.

Djabe - & Steve Hackett - Life is a Journey, The Budapest Live Tapes
Review by Gary Hill

When Life Is a Journey, the studio album released by Djabe and Steve Hackett came out recently, it made my best of the year list. So, I was anxious to hear this live set.

Dr. Chrispy - VHS
Review by Gary Hill

I almost landed this under "non-prog" because of the EDM characteristics of the set. The thing is, those are tempered by textures that are closer to things like Tangerine Dream, Vangelis and Synergy.

Elza - Endeavor (digital single)
Review by Gary Hill

This is one of three reviews of this artist in this issue of Music Street Journal. The other two are another single and the album from which both of these singles came.

Elza - Nothing's Wrong
Review by Gary Hill

I've reviewed this and two singles from the album for this issue of Music Street Journal. I have put all of them under progressive rock, but I can see how some people might take issue with that.

Elza - Swayed (digital single)
Review by Gary Hill

This is a new single from an interesting artist. I've included this under progressive rock more because of its artsy nature than a real progressive rock connection.

Glass Hammer - Chronomonaut
Review by Gary Hill

You can always count on quality progressive rock from Glass Hammer, so they have set the bar high leading into this album. Well, they have set a new world record as this thing easily surpasses anything that's come before from them.

Patrick Grant - FIELDS AMAZE and other sTRANGE music
Review by Gary Hill

This set is quite intriguing. It has sounds that are often quite classical in nature. At other times there are Rock In Opposition and jazz fusion oriented.

Greenslade - Greenslade (Expanded and Re-Mastered 2CD Edition)
Review by Gary Hill

I remember that I first heard of Greenslade when I was looking over one of the Roger Dean books. I'm a huge fan of the artist, and he did the cover to this album.

John Hackett - Nick Fletcher - Beyond the Stars
Review by Gary Hill

I was really surprised with this disc. I was expecting something instrumental and fusion-like.

Hawkwind - Road to Utopia
Review by Gary Hill

This is arguably one of the most divisive releases in Hawkwind's catalog. Let me lead off by saying that I land in the group of people really won over by it.

Lucas Lee - Featuring Marco Minnemann - Lowered Expectations
Review by Gary Hill

This newest release from Lucas Lee continues his brand of progressive rock. It is often King Crimson-like, but has plenty of other leanings in place, too.

Luxury Eviction - Master of None
Review by Gary Hill

This album isn't progressive rock, but I've landed it under that heading. That's because it is art music, and often art rock.

Mah-Ze-Tar - Liquid Lotus
Review by Gary Hill

This is quite an interesting set. I think arguing that it doesn't fit under progressive rock would be quite valid.

Mah-Ze-Tar - Liquid Lotus (digital single)
Review by Gary Hill

This single bears the same title and cover as the album from which it comes. This was released as sort of the preview for the album.

Tone Masseve - Amp L’├ętude
Review by Gary Hill

Perhaps this doesn't precisely fall under progressive rock. It's essentially electric guitar led arrangements of classical music pieces.

Weather McNabb - Cubicle Zombie
Review by Gary Hill

Weather McNabb has produced a particularly powerful release with this EP.

Midwest Soul Xchange - Weakened at the Asylum
Review by Gary Hill

I reviewed a previous set from this act and liked it a lot. It didn't prepare me for this, though. This album is a masterpiece that really lands under folk prog more than it does pure folk music.

Tim Morse - III
Review by Gary Hill

This new disc from Tim Morse should appeal to fans of melodic progressive rock. While most of it leans toward older textures, there is a modern edge to it.

├śresund Space Collective - Live in Berlin 2018
Review by Gary Hill

Øresund Space Collective's brand of space rock is improvised, always. That means each performance is unique.

Post Death Soundtrack - Chosen Sons (digital single)
Review by Gary Hill

I am sure that there are prog purists who won't like this. I can't imagine anyone arguing that it's not prog rock, though.

Procol Harum - Live: In Concert With The Edmonton Symphony Orchestra
Review by Gary Hill

This new reissue includes the classic live Procol Harum disc with a number of bonus tracks and a cool booklet.

Xavi Reija - The Sound of the Earth
Review by Gary Hill

While this is released under Xavi Reija's name, the full lineup here is full of exceptional musicians. Reija handles the drums while Tony Levin delivers bass, standup bass and Stick.

Renaissance - Prologue (Remastered and Expanded Edition)
Review by Gary Hill

Newly released, this is a revised and expanded edition of the classic 1972 album from Renaissance. I love the sound on this version.

The Residents - Intruder
Review by Gary Hill

The list is getting rather crowded, but this a contender for my best of 2018 list. Then again, you can pretty much count on The Residents for releasing music that works well for me.

Sky - Carillon: The Singles Collection 1979-1987
Review by Gary Hill

A while ago I reviewed a box set of studio albums from Sky. For my money, that might be the best introduction to this act.

Soft Machine - Hidden Details
Review by Gary Hill

This is the brand new album from Soft Machine. A group with a long history, the current lineup is John Etheridge, Theo Travis, Roy Babbington and John Marshall.

Spirits Burning - & Michael Moorcock - An Alien Heat
Review by Gary Hill

I always like the music from Spirits Burning. This album is no exception.

Starfish64 - The Future in Reverse
Review by Gary Hill

This is quite an effective set. It has a good balance between shorter pieces and epic suites.

Textbeak - Sick for Songs a Season Eats
Review by Gary Hill

This probably doesn't really qualify as progressive rock. There is little to no rock music here at all.

Vinyl Floor - Apogee
Review by Gary Hill

This isn't the best fit under progressive rock. Some of it definitely does not fit under that category at all.

Metal/Prog Metal CD Reviews
Leader of Down - Cascade Into Chaos
Review by Gary Hill

Würzel (Michael Burston) was the leader of this band. They were working on this album when he died in 2011.

Saxon - Thunderbolt
Review by Greg Olma

Saxon is more than just a band.  At this point, they are an institution that started in 1979 with the birth of NWOBHM and has consistently toured and put out records ever since.

Scorpions - Love Drive
Review by Gary Hill

I know that for many people the post Uli Jon Roth era of Scorpions is the best. Personally, I've always preferred the earlier stuff.

Thor - Christmas in Valhalla
Review by Gary Hill

Thor is a rock and roll superhero whose music often lands somewhere in the territory between heavy metal and punk rock. For this new holiday set, it's more firmly in the metal zone.

Non-Prog CD Reviews
Alright Alright - Nearby
Review by Gary Hill

The main singers and songwriters of this project are husband and wife duo China and Seth Kent. While this outfit, to a large degree, is about that duo, there are other musicians here adding to the sound.

Joe Bonamassa - Redemption
Review by Gary Hill

This is the brand new release from Joe Bonamassa, and he's outdone himself. While I can't say that I've heard every album he's done, I've followed his career quite a bit.

The Brutalists - The Brutalists
Review by Gary Hill

This album joins an already crowded group as a potential entry into my "best of 2018" list. The music here is just so much fun.

Bye Bye Banshee - Deathfolk Magic
Review by Gary Hill

Bye Bye Banshee is a project of a singer songwriter named Jezebel Jones. If this is any indication, she's someone to watch.

Crooked Flower - Into the Light
Review by Gary Hill

The sound of this act is quite unusual. They mix things that don't normally get mixed, and make it work really well.

Dry Reef - Daychange
Review by Gary Hill

If you sat down and listened to this album without any pre-knowledge, you'd probably suspect that this band is based on some tropical island paradise. The truth is that they hail from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania that is.

John Flynn - Vintage
Review by Gary Hill

I've been a fan of John Flynn since I first heard him on NPR many years back. His brand of folk music is really steeped in the traditions and textures of the 1960s and 1970s folk scene.

The fundaMentals - American Idle, Vol. 1
Review by Gary Hill

I reviewed a set from these guys before and felt that it was a bit rough around the edges. I don't really get that vibe from this.

Katie Garibaldi - Home Sweet Christmas
Review by Gary Hill

I received this last year after our December issue had already been published. It never makes a lot of sense to me to review holiday music after Christmas, so it's been sitting and awaiting review this whole time.

Geoff Gibbons - Shadow of a Stone - Songs of Remembrance
Review by Gary Hill

I have previously reviewed another set from Geoff Gibbons. Like that one, this EP lands generally under the Americana heading.

Harmless Habit - Fronterror
Review by Gary Hill

This is the second EP from this act. That means they are relatively new.

Greg Hawks - I This It's Time
Review by Gary Hill

Blending healthy helping of country music and folk, this is classic Americana. The lyrical content ranges from topical subjects of societal scope to deeply personal.

Greg Herriges - Revel & Ritual: Holiday Music for the World
Review by Gary Hill

Given that Winter Solstice (in the Northern Hemisphere) represents the least amount of daylight of any day on the calendar, it's no wonder that so many cultures created holidays around that event. 

Last Chance Riders - Jet Lag Super Drag
Review by Gary Hill

This album really feels a lot like something that would have been at home in the 1970s. The band has the blues rock vein down in style.

LeeSun - Singing You This Song
Review by Gary Hill

This album from Korean born, UK based artist LeeSun, shows off a good variety.

Lord Sonny the Unifier - Final Notice!
Review by Gary Hill

It wouldn't be a stretch of the imagination to believe that this had been released in the 1970s. It really is set in the same type of territory as a lot of the glam rock of that period.

LUC - Glow
Review by Gary Hill

I suppose you could label this EP as "pop music." That would be doing it a grave injustice, though.

Paul Maged - The Resistance (digital single)
Review by Gary Hill

This new single from Paul Maged is a bit rough around the edges in some ways, but that's one of its charms. This is definitely an indie type release.

Curtis Newart - Rock the Chandeliers
Review by Gary Hill

There is some entertaining music here. Nothing really fails, but this set is very uneven.

Nocturnal Animals - Writing on the Walls
Review by Gary Hill

I reviewed the previous EP from these guys and liked it quite a bit. I'd say if anything that this one is stronger.

Kimia Penton - Where the Rain Falls
Review by Gary Hill

I'm not so sure that the cover image of this set does it justice. The violin as the focus of the cover gives two impression.

Vanessa Peters - Foxhole Prayers
Review by Gary Hill

This is quite an effective set. The music is probably best described in one phrase as "folk rock," but that is only so accurate.

Phantom Phunk - Struggle With Me
Review by Gary Hill

I reviewed a previous set from this act and talked about the variety presented on the disc. This time around that's still present, but they seem to somehow merge the sounds better.

Joel Phil - Monster (digital single)
Review by Gary Hill

I previously reviewed an EP from this artist. That one had four different versions of one song.

REO Speedwagon - The Early Years - 1971-1977
Review by Gary Hill

This is one heck of a cool set. For those who need to catch up on the earlier part of REO's catalogue (you know, before they were superstars), it's really a great value.

Mitch Ryder - Christmas (Take a Ride)
Review by Gary Hill

Mitch Ryder has just unleashed a brand new holiday album. It's quite a successful one.

Shindigs - Ch ill a nd
Review by Gary Hill

In some ways this occupies a lot of the same territory as the music of Gary Wilson. It has a lot of the same charms.

Trio of Awesuhm - cowboys&aliens
Review by Gary Hill

This is quite a varied and intriguing set. The music ranges from pure folk music all the way up to progressive rock based sounds.

Uriah Heep - Living The Dream
Review by Mike Korn

It won’t be too long before Uriah Heep celebrates its 50th year in the music business. That in itself is astounding, but what is even more astounding is that they are doing some of their best and most energetic work at this stage of the game.

Various Artists - Kubrick's Music: Selections From The Films Of Stanley Kubrick
Review by Gary Hill

This box set of four CDs compiles soundtrack music from a number of Stanley Kubrick's movies. A booklet goes into a lot of the thought process and other factors involved with the music.

Rachel Wise - Southern Life
Review by Gary Hill

It would be an easy thing to just describe this whole set as country music. That does have an air of accuracy.

DVD/Video Reviews
Dave Bainbridge & Sally Minnear - Live in the Studio DVD
Review by Gary Hill

You can count on certain things when you know Dave Bainbridge is involved in a project. One of those things is quality.

Evanescence - Synthesis Live DVD/CD set
Review by Gary Hill

I have landed this under progressive rock. Let me just say that I didn't intend to put it there.

John Lennon - Imagine & Gimme Some Truth DVD
Review by Gary Hill

This brand new DVD is a very cool thing. It includes two features along with some bonus material. Both of these features on their own would be great.

Melanie - Live at Meltdown Festival 2007 DVD
Review by Gary Hill

Melanie was once hailed as the "female Bob Dylan." I think that comparison is actually very accurate.

Yes - Yessongs BluRay
Review by Gary Hill

This is a new reissue of the original Yes concert film. While the main film remains unchanged from older editions, there is quite a bit of added material here.

Concert Reviews
Alice Cooper - Live in Rockford, Illinois, October, 2018
Review by Kat Heitzman

What a treat it was to have this trickster performing at our beautifully haunted Coronado theater in Rockford, Illinois. Opening with "Brutal Planet," this shock rocker put on a flawless show.

Book Reviews
Various Artists - Underrated Rock Book: The 200 Most Overlooked Albums 1970-2015 written by Jim Santora, Jr.
Review by Gary Hill

The premise is simple: list 200 albums that are under-appreciated. When Jim Santora started the project he set some ground rules. 

 
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