Artists | Issues | CD Reviews | Interviews | Concert Reviews | DVD/Video Reviews | Book Reviews | Who We Are | Staff | Home
Progressive Rock CD Reviews


Barefoot & Naked

Review by Gary Hill

Walking the fine line between progressive rock and metal, I'd say this disc comes in barely on the prog side of the festivities. It's a powerful disc, but suffers a bit from lack of variety. Comparisons to Lana Lane are definitely justified, but you are also likely to hear some Dream Theater, Rush and Queensryche here. This one is probably not for prog purists, but if you like metallic prog with great female vocals, give this one a try. It's not a perfect CD, but it's darn good. For more information (including how to get the disc) check out the band's website.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2007 Volume 2 at

Track by Track Review
Fade Away
The keyboard sound that starts this is purely classic. As the other instruments enter this begins to resemble a progressive metal texture. When the vocals join the texture is similar to something by Lacuna Coil or Evanescence. This is a strong cut, but as metallic as it is it might send some prog purists running away in terror. I'm not sure this was the best choice for disc opener as it gives a first impression that doesn't fit with the rest of the CD. They do drop it back to a killer piano based melodic ballad segment, though, and the cut resembles more pure prog as it works its way up from there. A crunchy metallic section afterwards, with its guitar solo basis, while inspiring might have those prog heads running for cover again. However, if they just hang on for a few moments they'll get a short reprieve in terms of a more traditional progressive rock movement. Then it's back to the crunch to carry forward from there.
Run the Race
OK, all you prog purists, you can come out of your hiding places now. While this track is still quite crunchy, the mode is closer to something like Dream Theater than real metal. There is an intriguing trade off of vocals between the female sounds that make up the majority of the singing here and a distorted, processed shouted male vocal. There is definitely some incredible guitar work on this one, and they move it through several different modes. There is one decidedly metal segment later with a riff that Black Sabbath would have been proud to call their own.
Crossing the Line
More sedate keyboard textures lead this one off in a pretty and evocative manner. It builds gradually up into a progressive rock ballad form that serves as the backdrop for the vocals. This is gentle and powerful. While this gets more potent and just a little crunchy, this is the first cut on the disc that falls completely clear of metal, but it is metallic enough to still be put into the neo-prog category. I might have lead with this one if I were them. There are some inspiring passages here.
A pretty keyboard melody is the mode on the introductory section. Lines of melodic guitar soar overhead. This is another prog ballad. Unlike the last one, though, this never turns even a little metallic. Instead it chooses to remain in the realm of powerful neo-prog ballad. It also has some of the prettiest music you'll find here.
Now it's back to the metallic textures with a vengeance. This time, though, this feels like the more metal oriented of newer King Crimson music. Those metallic tones, along with the dissonance that came with them, alternate with a musical passage that is melodic and a bit like Genesis. The metallic textures that make up the verse, along with the vocals, remind me a bit of Lana Lane's music. While this one has a lot of crunch, it's also one of the most musically challenging numbers on show here. It also contains some exceptionally meaty riffs. This is a real winner.
Our Sky (For One Time)
The most sedate tones of the disc start this off. In fact, this cut never rises above the level of a piano and vocal ballad. It's quite pretty and a nice respite from some of the more ferocious tones that are created throughout most of the rest of the disc.
Before I Leave
More metallic fury like "143" makes up the bulk of this track. It's not a bad number, but this motif is getting a little old by now. Still, they throw enough creativity and interesting progressions into the mix to keep it entertaining. They also drop back to the more ballad-like styles later for good effect.
This feels a lot like heavy duty Dream Theater, if Lana Lane were the lead vocalist in that band. It gets more melodic at points, but that crunch remains for the duration. Again, this musical form is becoming a little tired by this point. They still manage to change it up enough to keep it from getting really boring, though.
This cut has some of the most real progressive music on show along with some of the most metallic. This contrasting format, along with some killer progressions make this instrumental one of the coolest pieces of music on show here. Still, it's another that might have prog purists hitting “stop.” I hear both Dream Theater and Rush on this.
Stop to Think
You might hear just a touch of Queensryche mixed with Pink Floyd on the mellower introduction here. As keys and vocals enter the piece takes on a dramatic and very intriguing sound. They turn it metallic at points and again you might think of Lana Lane on this one. They also bring in some of the most purely progressive changes and motifs at varying points in this, the most dynamic piece on the disc. It's also my favorite piece and a great choice to close this one out.
More CD Reviews
Metal/Prog Metal
Progressive Rock

   Creative Commons License
   This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.

    © 2022 Music Street Journal                                                                           Site design and programming by Studio Fyra, Inc./