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Progressive Rock CD Reviews


Never Pet a Burning Dog

Review by Gary Hill

RIO and fusion are the primary motivators here. Most of the album is instrumental, but there are two songs with vocals. This is definitely not for everyone, but it is an intriguing set of music. For my money some of it gets a bit too noisy and freeform, but there are some incredible moments, too.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2010  Volume 2 at

Track by Track Review
Corale Di San Luca

Church bells start this and then we are taken into a mellow jazz-styled motif with some cool non-lyrical vocals. This is tasty and classy and a bit like Pat Metheny, but also like some of Tony Levin’s solo catalog. The vocals might actually have lyrics, but they are not distinct enough to be certain of that. A fusion bass solo takes it at the end and, as the drums wail, pulls it into the next number.


Coming straight out of the previous one this rises with a noisy sort of crunch fusion meets King Crimson sound. It builds out from there. This instrumental gets quite cacophonous and turns out into some serious RIO-like territory as it continues. Parts of the number feel like distorted classic jazz, but it gets much weirder than that.

Over Birkerot

More noisy fusion elements lead this off, but the cut sticks closer to the melodic as it carries on. It’s rather soaring and yet restrained. The keys do bring in some dissonance, though. In many ways this resembles the distorted classic jazz styling of the previous number, but it’s less RIO oriented and more melodic. There are also good sized chunks of jam band and space rock in the mix here.


In some ways this is more RIO than anything we’ve heard thus far. It’s definitely a lot more free form and strange. It’s less distorted and hard edged, though and has quite a bit of open space, too. There is certainly no shortage in the “weirdness quotient”, though.

Passing Cloud

This has vocals. To me it seems like what you would get if you combined Islands era King Crimson with the Belew period of the band and then threw some more pure jazz into the mix.

Cosmic Surgery

Arguably the most dynamic piece on show here, it’s also one of my favorites. It comes in heavy and almost metallic (but still definitely fusion and prog). It drops way down later to some of the mellowest music on show and rises gradually in a space rock meets jam band mode. We get more of that distorted classic jazz sound further down the musical road.


This is perhaps both the weirdest and most RIO oriented track here. It works through a number of seemingly freeform changes. At times I’m reminded a bit of King Crimson, but this is much closer to something like Birdsongs of the Mesozoic or Univers Zero.

Beppe's Shelter
Although a lot of this is noisy, it is also somehow strangely melodic and captivating. They put a lot of intriguing alterations into the mix here and it is actually one of the standouts of the set. That makes it an excellent choice for this closing position.
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