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February 2020 - Issue 140
Progressive Rock CD Reviews
American Tears - White Flags
Review by Gary Hill

This band is actually just one guy, Mark Mangold, The music here is dominated by keyboards, but at times it sounds more like a rock band than just keyboard based.

Asia - Archiva 2
Review by Greg Olma

In 1995, Asia had a bit of a studio issue when a water pipe burst and ruined hundreds of thousands of pounds of studio equipment.  

The Basement Paintings - Antipodes
Review by Gary Hill

While perhaps not the tightest fit under progressive rock, at least in terms of the 70s definition, I'd argue that this belongs there.

Bill Bruford's Earthworks - Heavenly Bodies
Review by Gary Hill

This newly released double CD compilation gathers up a number of studio and live recordings from Bill Bruford's Earthworks in a nice re-mastered package.

Dewa Budjana - Tohpati, Adhitya Pratama, Demas Narawangsa - Janapati
Review by Gary Hill

I've reviewed works from a  couple of these guys in the past. Generally the music lands in the vein of fusion.

Lica Cecato and Paolo Baltaro Orchestra - Call Porter
Review by Gary Hill

This is an unusual set to say the least. The music here is all based on Cole Porter's songs, but the arrangements are all new and original.

JJ Chardeau - In Terra Cognita? The Music Of The Rock Opera “Magical Musical Man”
Review by Gary Hill

This is an intriguing set. Most of the lyrics are in languages other than English.

District 97 - Screens
Review by Gary Hill

This female-fronted band has been making waves in the prog scene ever since they first showed up.

Downes Braide Association - Live in England
Review by Gary Hill

I really like this act. Just the two guys involved make it worth the spin.

Dr. Chrispy - VHS Remixed
Review by Gary Hill

I previously reviewed another set from this act. Like that one, this lands in the zone of electronic music.

Amanda Easton - Polaroids & Postcards
Review by Gary Hill

While I've put this set under progressive rock, it's not traditional progressive rock. It has an electronic vibe that sometimes leans toward space rock and even pure progressive rock.

Electric Light Orchestra - Time
Review by Gary Hill

By the time this album had come out, I had pretty much given up on ELO. That's kind of a shame because there is some fine music here.

Emerson, Lake and Palmer - Love Beach
Review by Gary Hill

Years ago I remember owning this on vinyl. I bought it in a cut-out bin.

The Gardening Club - Boy on a Bicycle
Review by Gary Hill

The latest set from Martin Springett's project The Gardening Club, this might be the strongest of the catalog. It doesn't have a weak piece.

Guarino Savoldelli Quintet - Core 'ngrato
Review by Gary Hill

I can imagine arguments about this landing under progressive rock. The music here is essentially jazz.

Chris Haskett - Insufficient Necessities
Review by Gary Hill

While Chris Hackett is probably best known as the guitarist in the Rollins Band, this new set is proggy, in the vein of people like Joe Satriani.

Dave Kerzner - Breakdown: A Compilation 1995-2019
Review by Gary Hill

When one thinks of a compilation by a single artist, the idea is usually a collection of songs from that one artist just pasted into a new collection. That's not what we get with this double CD set at all.

The Kiss That Took A Trip - Garlands
Review by Gary Hill

This is quite a ride. It's most often focused on something between trippy space rock  and alternative. That lands in the same zone as shoegaze, and it definitely gets into that territory.

Rainer Landfermann - Mein Wort in Deiner Dunkelheit
Review by Gary Hill

I am absolutely certain plenty will disagree with me landing this under progressive rock. Yes, there is a lot of extreme metal built into this.

Phil Lanzon - 48 Seconds
Review by Gary Hill

It seems a safe bet that many who know Phil Lanzon's work, know of it through his tenure as the keyboardist for Uriah Heep.

John Lodge - B Yond - The Very Best Of
Review by Gary Hill

This is unusual as "best of" sets go. For one thing, many of the tracks are not John Lodge solo numbers, but rather numbers he wrote for and recorded with The Moody Blues.

Nicolas Meier - World Group - Peaceful
Review by Gary Hill

With jazz, world music and more built into it, this instrumental set is classy. It lands on the mellower end of the spectrum, but that's not a bad thing.

The Moody Blues - In Search of the Lost Chord
Review by Gary Hill

The third album from The Moody Blues, this came out in 1968. As such, it's more proto-prog than actual prog, since that wasn't really a thing yet.

Mike Oldfield - QE2
Review by Gary Hill

This 1980 release was the sixth studio album from Mike Oldfield. His brand of progressive rock really shines on this set.

├śresund Space Collective - Experiments in the Subconscious
Review by Gary Hill

Any time you put in a new album from Øresund Space Collective you have a good idea of what you are going to get. This set is no exception.

Udo Pannekeet - Electric Regions
Review by Gary Hill

Perhaps most people who know of Udo Pannekeet know him as the bassist for the band Focus. This is his new solo album.

Alan Parsons - Ammonia Avenue
Review by Gary Hill

The seventh disc from the Alan Parsons Project, this came out in 1984. I really disregarded it at the time.

Fernando Perdomo - The Crimson Guitar: Tribute To King Crimson
Review by Gary Hill

I've reviewed a couple other sets from Fernando Perdomo, and I always enjoy his stuff. This set, as you might guess from the title, features his acoustic guitar treatments of various King Crimson numbers.

The Pink Dust - Fathom
Review by Gary Hill

I have landed this EP under progressive rock. Don't expect old-school prog, though.

Queen - Sheer Heart Attack
Review by Gary Hill

This was the third album from Queen. It was a particularly effective set.

Renaissance - Illusion
Review by Gary Hill

Technically this album (the second from Renaissance) was released in 1971. It was only released in Germany at that time, though.

Bernie Shaw and Dale Collins - Too Much Information
Review by Gary Hill

I've put this under progressive rock, but it's not a tight fit. There is a definite melodic rock element to the music here that lands in the territory of AOR prog.

Sirkis/Bialas IQ - Our New Earth
Review by Gary Hill

The music presented here is really hard to pin down in terms of musical genre. There is certainly a lot of jazz in the mix.

Time Shift Accident - Chronosthesia
Review by Gary Hill

This new release is an instrumental album. It has a nice variety of music, never feeling redundant or tired.

Frank Wyatt - and Friends - Zeitgeist
Review by Gary Hill
Frank Wyatt is best known as the keyboardist and saxophonist for the band Happy The Man. This album started as a reunion set for that band, but then expanded as other musicians were added to the mix.
Frank Zappa - Zoot Allures
Review by Gary Hill

This 1976 release was Frank Zappa's only set on Warner Brothers Records. It has the usual type of Zappa weirdness you would expect.

Metal/Prog Metal CD Reviews
Black Sabbath - The Eternal Idol
Review by Greg Olma

The Black Sabbath name was at a low ebb back in 1987. After the debacle of Seventh Star (which I thought was great) coming out as a Black Sabbath album instead of a Tony Iommi solo album, many fans jumped ship.

Dio - The Last In Line
Review by Greg Olma

The Last In Line has always felt like “Son of Holy Diver” to me. It’s a great album from start to finish, and even a filler here or there does not distract from the overall record.

Saxon - Power & The Glory
Review by Greg Olma

I have been a longtime fan of Saxon and followed their rise since 1980. My first record was Wheels Of Steel, and I have never hated one of their releases.

Warlock - Hellbound
Review by Gary Hill

The second studio album from Warlock, this is a fierce metal set well worth revisiting. This was the first album from the band I ever owned, so it has a special place in my heart.

Non-Prog CD Reviews
Rob Alexander - Being Myself
Review by Gary Hill

There is a song on this set which is dedicated to Elton John. You wouldn't really need to know that to pick up on the EJ reference here.

Apache Rose - Tiny Love (digital single)
Review by Gary Hill
This new single from Russian band Apache Rose shows off an intriguing style. The sound here has modern and classic rock elements merged into an effective piece of music.
Joe Bonamassa - Live At The Sydney Opera House
Review by Gary Hill

When you dig into an album by Joe Bonamassa, you have a good idea what you are going to get. His brand of blues and rock is pretty well established.

Brainsqueezed - Scarred
Review by Gary Hill

This act is apparently being billed as alternative rock, but also progressive rock. That might be part of the sort of disconnected effect of the disc right there.

Chotto Ghetto - WILDFIRE
Review by Gary Hill

Conventional wisdom says that punk rock was a response to the over-indulgence of a lot of 1970s progressive rock.

Cloutier - Thunder 'N' Lightning
Review by Gary Hill

This band produces a sound that's blues-rock based. There is quite a bit of range here within that general conceptual zone, though.

Commander Cody - And His Western Airmen - Live From The Sunbanks Festival Electric City, Washington 2018
Review by Gary Hill

This live album from Commander Cody is a strong one. The brand of roots music and rock and roll being delivered works well.

Gary Duncan Quicksilver - Live At Fieldstone (vinyl)
Review by Gary Hill

This new vinyl reissue is classy stuff. It's heavy-duty 180 gram vinyl.

Eddy and the Backfires - Twenty Eight Years
Review by Gary Hill

This act is apparently one of the hottest German rockabilly bands out there. As good as this album is, I can see why.

Bill Haley & His Comets - Don't Knock The Rock (10-inch vinyl)
Review by Gary Hill

Bear Family Records has been putting out some cool stuff. I am particularly fond of these ten-inch old school rock and roll reissues. This new one is on clear vinyl. It captures some solid tunes from Bill Haley and his crew. While some of these tunes hold up better than others, it's a fun ride from start to finish. This is also a very classy release.

Har' Monique - Oh Lawd (digital single)
Review by Gary Hill

This new single is set in a modern R&B pop type of zone. As such, it does have a bit of a heavy-handed approach to the production, but still works well.

In2TheSound - Commotion & Style (vinyl)
Review by Gary Hill

This album is a live set. The project is a spin-off of the band The Convent and a tribute to the band The Sound.

The Irrational Library - Everything At All Times and All Things At Once
Review by Gary Hill

This is very unusual and unique. The vocals are all spoken, but more like rants than raps.

Magical Beasts - Yes, My Love, I am Reaching
Review by Gary Hill

I previously reviewed another set from this Chicago based roots music outfit. I think that one was more effective than this one is.

The Magpie Salute - High Water II
Review by Gary Hill

When you spin this disc you might feel as if you've climbed into a time machine and wound up in the 1970s. The music here most often feels like it could have been released in that era.

Todd Warner Moore - Path Overgrown
Review by Gary Hill

The latest disc from Todd Warner Moore, this continues the basic musical journey he's been on throughout the other sets I've reviewed. This album focuses heavily on folk rock sounds.

Vinnie Moore - Soul Shifter
Review by Gary Hill

Vinnie Moore is probably best known for his work in the band Thin Lizzy. He's also played with Alice Cooper and is in the Lizzy spin-off band Red Zone Rider.

Mostly Trees - Mostly Trees
Review by Gary Hill

This outfit hails from Minneapolis, and they have produced an alternative rock set that seems to have nearly equal parts grunge and psychedelia at play.

Professor Louie - and the Crowmatix - Songs of Inspiration
Review by Gary Hill

I've reviewed quite a bit of music from this act over the years. This new set seems based more on gospel music.

The Raz Band - No. 9
Review by Gary Hill

This new set from Raz Band has a lot of retro rock sound in the mix. The group's sort of slightly left-of-center element is on display, too.

Billy Lee Riley - Rocks
Review by Gary Hill

This new compilation is set in an old-school rock and roll zone. There are some particularly strong tracks here.

Ruffyunz - Ruffyunz
Review by Gary Hill

Randy Pratt sure seems to get involved in a lot of cool projects. His bands are always quality operations, too.

Jennifer Saran - Smoky Nights
Review by Gary Hill

Jennifer Saran always produces quality music. Her sound is based on the jazz stylings of the past.

Robertas Semeniukas - Backstage Stories
Review by Gary Hill

Robertas Semeniukas hails from Lithuania and seems to have quite a following in his homeland. After hearing this album, I understand why.

Brian Charles Tischleder - Momma Told Me So
Review by Gary Hill

I think this set does the best when it gets more energized, and less reflective. The mix of roots sounds seems to function best when it rocks more.

Triumph - Classics 30th Anniversary Vinyl Edition
Review by Gary Hill

For the thirtieth anniversary of the release of Triumph's Classics album, this new double record vinyl set has been released.  The vinyl is heavy 180 gram and silver in color.

Various Artists - Elvis Presley Connection Vol.1
Review by Gary Hill

This new collection gathers up some music that is connected to Elvis Presley - as they describe it, roots and covers. I have to admit that I'm one of the people who has never really gotten Presley's allure.

Various Artists - Tell It To Me: Johnson City Sessions Revisited
Review by Gary Hill

There is a big roots music revival still in effect in the world of music. That makes this recording all the more relevant today.

Link Wray - Rocks
Review by Gary Hill

Link Wray was a pioneering guitar player. He's really legendary, as is his contribution to rock guitar.

DVD/Video Reviews
Martin Barre - Live in NY DVD
Review by Gary Hill

Martin Barre is probably best known as the long-time guitarist for Jethro Tull. The thing is, he's been building a solo career in recent years, and has put out some great music in that pursuit

Erich Mrak - See You In September (A Visual)
Review by Gary Hill
This is a new "visual" from Erich Mrak. In the classic days of MTV (remember when they used to be "music television?") this would have been called a music video. However, it includes two songs, rather than one like most music videos.
The Rolling Stones - Bridges To Buenos Aires BluRay
Review by Gary Hill

In terms of the type of rock music The Rolling Stones do, they really are the kings of the genre.

Sally Tomato - Strange Divinity (video)
Review by Gary Hill

This is an unusual project. It's part music video, part film, part science fiction story, part rock opera and a bit more.

Toto - 40 Tours Around The Sun BluRay
Review by Gary Hill

This new Blu-Ray release captures a show from Toto's 40th anniversary tour. Now that they have decided to hang it up as a band, this is even more poignant.

Various Artists - Come On Feel The Noize: The Story Of How Rock Became Metal DVD
Review by Gary Hill
I want to start this review by framing it with the following statement: I really enjoyed watching this. I found it very entertaining and captivating. I recommend it pretty highly to fans of rock and metal.
Various Artists - Melody Makers DVD
Review by Gary Hill

When it comes to the British music scene, it could be argued that "Melody Maker" magazine was an integral piece of the evolution of bands and sound.

Interviews
Sons of Apollo
Interview by Gary Hill

Interview with Jeff Scott Soto of Sons of Apollo from 2020

 
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