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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Lynn Stokes and the Sol Surfers

Terra Nocturne

Review by Gary Hill

Fans of Pink Floyd should be all over this. The disc has a lot of music that could fit onto Floyd discs pretty seamlessly. That said, this group is not a pure clone as there are variants throughout, but to not mention the Pink Floyd connection would be pretty silly. Whatever the influences, though, this is a great modern progressive rock CD and I like it a lot.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2009  Volume 1 at lulu.com/strangesound.
Track by Track Review
Sacred Moon's Light
Dramatic and powerful tones start this out in mellow ways. They fire out into a jam that’s saxophone heavy and really feels like it would be quite at home on Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon. The vocals definitely add to this effect. This is slow and sultry and incredibly cool. Some flute solos later are a nice touch, but that saxophone seriously wails throughout the piece. There’s also a tasty keyboard solo later. An exceptionally effective piece of music, this makes for a great opening shot.
Terra Nocturne
Starting gradually this moves out into some new age meets fusion meets neo-prog textures as it begins to build. It’s a reasonably short (less than two and a half minutes) instrumental and serves as a nice interlude.
Where Have You Gone
Another mellow piece, this feels like Pink Floyd again. It’s definitely in a moody mellow motif for the first sections, but powers out quite a bit later. There are some keyboard textures here that are closer to ELP, but the Pink Floydisms seriously dominate this track. The other aspect that moves it away from Floydian territory is the acoustic guitar solo segments that have hints of Latin music. In some ways this might be closer to Chroma Key than Floyd, but the vocals are certainly very Floydian.
The Crossing
Here we get another short instrumental. This is pretty, and moody.  
Let Go
This is more like Pink Floyd again, but rather than Dark Side of the Moon I’d think of this as closer to Wish You Were Here. There’s some distinctly Gilmour-like guitar soloing on this and also some great keyboard textures. Some of the instrumental passages later really do feel like they would have fit on Wish You Were Here or even Animals quite well.
Open Door
Continuing the cycle of one song with vocals alternated by one instrumental, this is higher energy than the other instrumentals and much more jazz oriented than a lot of the music here. It’s still hard rocking and no one would accuse it of being pure jazz, but there’s a lot of overtones that are consistent with that musical genre. Over five minutes in length, this is also longer than the instrumentals we’ve had to this point. 
American Dream
At twelve and a half minutes in length, this is the longest piece on show here. This is a dynamic cut, but the changes are slow. Pink Floyd is definitely the main order of business here, though. It’s a great tune and well worth the length of time it takes up on the disc. It’s definitely one of the highlights of the set. There’s a sort of epic element to this that reminds me a bit of The Flower Kings. There’s also a great saxophone solo. 
Dream Sequence
Quite creepy, this is pretty, just unsettling. Bits of sound come and go amidst weird spacey music. Sound bites come and go – and I can swear I hear Spock from Star Trek at one point. This is literally very much like a dream and another instrumental. It’s quite cool, too.
Across the Barrier
This is perhaps the least Pink Floyd like of anything on the disc. The vocals certainly bring into that realm, as does the outro, but beyond that it’s just good neo-prog.
 
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