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Review by Gary Hill

This is definitely modern progressive rock. The group does a great job of changing up the direction they take, though. Sometimes they seem closer to the metallic prog of bands like Dream Theater. At other points their focus is more tightly honed to moodier music like Porcupine Tree. Sometimes it switches within a single song. There are a few moments here and there that are probably metal enough to send prog purists running for shelter, but those who like modern progressive rock will find this entertaining and powerful.


This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2010  Volume 5 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Falling Dream

This comes in mellow and builds up very gradually. Once the vocals enter it develops up into something akin to Porcupine Tree or modern Marillion. This grows organically and is moody and quite pretty. Around the four and a half minute mark it powers out to more hard edged progressive rock (this track is over nine minutes long). That section seems to combine the slower moving and more atmospheric sounds that made up the first half with something more akin to Dream Theater. They drop it back down to atmosphere after a time and continue from there.

Glassy Essence
The fiery rock starts this one off, but after a time they drop it way down. This is another that seems to combine harder edged prog like Dream Theater with the more moody and sedate stuff like Porcupine Tree and modern Marillion. I can even hear a little bit of prog metal like Fates Warning in this. It alternates between the two musical territories, but they put in a real powerhouse jam late in the piece.
Home
They alternate this one between the hard rocking and mellower motifs, too. While they haven’t reinvented the wheel here, this is in no danger of becoming boring or monolithic. There are some killer keyboard parts on this track and it just seems to rise above the songs that preceded it somehow.
Faces
This one is a fairly short piece that’s very much a moody ballad. It’s tasty and a nice change of pace.
Stranger Than Fiction
Parts of this border heavy metal. It’s certainly the track that’s closest to music like Dream Theater. This is hard edged, powerful progressive rock. They take it to a fusion sort of movement, but then extreme metal vocals come in over the top. It works out from there into more melodic territory. The extreme vocals return for the section leading to the sedate outro.
Indifferent
Keyboards lead out here in a pretty balladic fashion, gradually building. The vocals come in over the top of this. As other instruments join it continues in mellow, balladic ways. The vocals here at times make me think of James LaBrie, but the music is closer to mellower modern progressive rock bands. Around the three and a half minute mark they power it out. When you consider this track is just about five minutes long, that makes it over half way through. There are some killer keyboard textures during this harder rocking movement. Keyboards eventually end it.
December 20th
Keyboards begin here in ambient ways. The vocals come in, bringing a mellow Dream Theater styled sound with them. The cut continues to grow in a very organic way for quite a while. Eventually, though, crunch guitar enters and they take it out into a hard rocking and dramatically powerful arrangement. Dream Theater definitely comes to mind when listening to that section. The closing section on this gets a very epic treatment.
 
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