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Progressive Rock CD Reviews


Crime Scene

Review by Gary Hill

This is one of the most intriguing CDs to come into the Music Street Journal mailbox in quite a while. The music wanders between metal, art rock, opera and world sounds, but that’s only the starting point. Things like The B52s can also be heard. It’s one of the most unique albums I’ve ever had the opportunity to review. It’s also one of the most oddly compelling ones and one of the coolest. I like this disc a lot and it will likely make my list of top albums of 2010.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2010  Volume 6 at

Track by Track Review
The Charlatans

A bouncy sort of melody emerges and other instruments join as this continues. It has a twisted element to it, but also feels rather like some sort of children’s music or carnival sounds. A crunchy guitar section joins and the whole thing feels a bit like a twisted Dream Theater. As the vocals enter we’re brought into another level of powerful oddity by their delivery. This is art that rocks! They drop it mid-track to some real carnival music. This gets operatic at times, too. It’s a seemingly never ending series of changes. It’s unique and yet incredibly catchy in a strange way. That pure carnival/circus music returns to end the piece.

Blind Man's Bluff
Keys start this off with a retro, yet rather tweaked sound. They power it out from there after a short time and this is another example of crunchy music that’s twisted from the mainstream and yet somehow gets under your skin. It’s another that blends metallic elements with more pure progressive rock in fine fashion. They keep changing this one throughout, too.
This has a more operatic approach in terms of male and female vocals playing off of one another. Musically it’s another hard rocking crunch fest with plenty of twists and turns. In some ways I can hear Green Jello on this piece, but a more serious and art rock version of that sound.
The Urban Tribe
The opening section here is the most purely metallic, but the piece runs out into something more akin to the artsy side of Kate Bush, mind you with a bit of a metal edge. This shifts and turns quite a bit and at times runs in a cool jazzy groove. It is one of the most unique and tasty cuts on show here.
There is a lot of jazz built into this number. It’s a killer. In addition, the argument could be made that this track is similar to the B-52s in some ways. Whatever mix of sounds are heard, though, it’s more music that’s powerful and unique. Sure, there is plenty of heavy metal included, too.
While in many ways this doesn’t differ a lot from other music on show, it’s an intriguing cut and unique in its own way. Unique tilts and twists are just sort of the norm for this band.
I can hear some hints of the rhythm section of Black Sabbath’s song “Black Sabbath” on this. There are also echoes of The B52s and a lot of other music to be found. All that said, plenty of metal can be heard, too. This is one of the most “different” tracks here, but it’s also one of the coolest. It’s a real winner.
Dramatis Personae
Piano leads this off. When the band pounds in it’s among the most metallic moments on show. They twist it into their own brand of art rock after a short time, though. There’s a bit in the song later that makes me think of the theme song to the old “Batman” television series. There is also a cool melodic movement later in the piece.
A Dreadful Sidescene
Organ and other elements provide a cool jam. There is no metal on show here. It’s got a tasty groove, though.
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