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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Profuna Ocean

Watching the Closing Sky

Review by Gary Hill

I really like this album a lot. Profuna Ocean’s blend of progressive rock conjures up a lot of different acts, but they still maintain a unique identity. That said, if I had to pick one band they remind me the most of, I’d say that – in terms of overall feeling – it would Lands End. I always liked that band a lot, so it’s no wonder I enjoy this CD so much.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2010  Volume 2 at lulu.com/strangesound.
Track by Track Review
Changing Legacy

Ambient textures lead off. Then a rock movement hesitantly enters and the track begins to move out from there. It burst out into a soaring modern progressive rock journey from there. Hints of Rush emerge as this continues. It drops back to the more stripped back territory for the vocals. They work through a few variants as the vocals continue, but they fire out later into a hard edged jam that’s rather crunchy and definitely Rush-like. This gives way to a return to the song proper to carry it through.

Lost Inside (The Landscape)
More hard edged and dramatic in a lot of ways, this reminds me somewhat of Hawkwind at times. There’s also an alternative rock element here and bits of Rush, too. It’s unique and interesting. They work through some variations on this type of musical motif to keep the track interesting and there’s a killer instrumental segment mid-track. This section really does have a lot of Hawkwind built into it, but there’s plenty of other sounds, too. Eventually we’re brought back out into the song proper, but it’s quite an extended instrumental journey. There is also a cool keyboard solo over the top of the main song structure as they carry on and somehow this section reminds me a bit of Nektar.
Sad Silhouette
This leads off in a mellower motif and builds gradually as a progressive rock ballad. It builds up to more hard rocking territory later for a short time, but then drops way back down. This is another killer piece of music.   
S.C.I.T.S.
Keyboard elements lead off this epic (it’s almost fourteen and a half minutes in length) and hold it for a time. They resemble Wish You Were Here era Pink Floyd at times. Acoustic guitar joins and the track continues in balladic fashion as the first vocals come across. They take it out from there into a fast paced progressive rock journey that is quite melodic. The guitar solo that comes in here makes me think of Marillion (Fish era). They work through a number of variants on this one musical theme as they continue. It gets a bit harder rocking later, but then works out into a tasty vocal section. The vocals on that segment remind me a bit of Chris Squire for some reason. They drop it down to a textural motif with fusion-like elements. Again I’m reminded of early Marillion as they carry on, but I can also hear some Hawkwind in this mix. At first percussion takes us out from there, but they build it into a rhythmically driven jam from there before powering out into soaring melodic progressive rock. It shifts towards the metallic for a while and keyboards solo over this. Eventually they take it back out to the song proper from there. With variants on the themes it carries forward until it drops down to just keyboards to continue. Then a balladic motif that somehow calls to mind Triumph a bit takes into the next vocal segment. After this we get a keyboard solo based section that’s dominated by piano. A guitar solo again brings in shades of vintage Marillion. A return to the song proper takes us out.
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