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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Attrition

The Eternity LP

Review by Gary Hill

I really know pretty much nothing about this act or CD except that it is apparently a collection of rarities. I have it included in the progressive rock category, but what is missing for most of the album is the “rock” portion of that. This is mostly classical music, but there are some techno and other electronic elements in the midst. It’s a rather strange disc, but it should appeal to fans of RIO.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2008  Volume 4 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
I Am (Eternity)
Ethereal atmospheric elements start this and it grows very gradually for a short time. Then a techno-styled rhythmic structure is introduced and rather odd vocals (with a hint of both psychedelia and world music) join. This is a little odd. Classical elements join later, merging with the more electronic ones that dominate this. It drops way back and an angelic female voice (quite operatic) is placed over this mix. As this grows and expands it is alternately weird and pretty. I can hear bits of Laurie Anderson at times on this.

Cold Genius
Spacey electronic textures lead things off here. Then classical tones are added to this backdrop. Next up we move into rather techno territory with the addition of a rhythmic structure. Vocals join that are sort of like world music meets The Talking Heads. In many ways this feels like some sort of twisted futuristic opera.
Feel The Backlash
This starts more dramatic and classical in nature. It definitely grows up in this manner. It never really moves toward the material of the other piece, but rather stays in more melodic classical territory. This is pretty and powerful.
At the Fiftieth Gate
The instrumentation doesn’t really differ from the last piece, but the effect does. This is dark and textural. It has an ominous sort of feeling to a lot of it and resembles soundtrack music. The pace quickens as this moves along, but it never gets into the strangeness shown by the first couple pieces.
Prelude
Another track that is content to stay within the realms of classical music, this is more energetic and intense.
A Virtual Angel
Weird sound effects bring this up with classical instrumentation serving as the decorative additions. This is certainly weird, but it’s more melodic and easier to take than the two openers. A violin solos here with an angular, slightly dissonant pattern. After a while other elements are brought to the table and this moves towards weirder territory.
Metamorphosis
An ominous tone leads off here. Then the violin fires out with a fury and anger. This is morphed towards more melodic world music themes as it is carried forward. The music is altered and built upon, but this never moves into the electronic realm that some of the other pieces do.
"Illuminati"
Another that stays within the classical style, this is melodic and pretty. It’s also quite powerful.
L'Echange
Electronic textures and effects are added to this track and the violin creates jabs of melody. This feels like it could be theme music to a horror film. At about two minutes in this shifts directions. It eventually begins to resemble some sort of ethnic fanfare. Yet the weird overtones are still waiting in the background. As this carries on it is twisted more towards weirdness before finally ending.
 
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