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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

The Society of the Yellow Sign

The King in Yellow

Review by Gary Hill

Coming from many of the same people who brought us Strange Aeons, and it resembles that release in a lot of ways, although the story here seems more coherent. There are sections here that are song-like and others that focus more on poetry readings. Like Strange Aeons, this is dark and based on dark fiction. It is often creepy, but also very cool. While it might not be a definite fit for progressive rock, it certainly comes close enough to qualify.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2011  Volume 3 at

Track by Track Review
Act 1
Journey to Carcosa

Sound effects and other weird noises open this and remain throughout. Bits of songs are interspersed as sounds are bent and twisted.

Arrival in Carcosa

Weird sound effects and atmospheric sounds are heard while spoken voices accentuate the creepiness. It is a poetry reading.

Cassilda’s Song
A delicate and olde worlde sound makes up the main motif for this ballad. Female vocals carry the tune and this builds in some tasteful and tasty ways.
The Waltz of the Veiled King

A pretty and very delicate ballad, this features acoustic guitar, olde worlde instrumentation and non-lyrical female vocals.

Interlude 1
This is just a short bit of ambience and weird musical elements (among them bits of “Cassilda’s Song.”)

Basically just a woman’s voice reciting a poem, at first (with just sound effects), musical elements begin to rise up as it continues.

Lost Carcosa

A folky kind of number, this features gentle female vocals and an almost garage band sound. The harmonica lends a bit of a Bob Dylan air.

Postscript: The King in Yellow

Weird music accompanies a spoken female recitation. This is creepy, but also very cool.

The Yellow Sign

A hard rocking tune, this is garagey and quite cool. It’s a great piece of music.

Act Two

There are wind effects here and bits of an earlier song.

Hali (The Lake of Lost Souls)

Here’s a rock meets folk and prog tune. It’s classy and rather unique.

What Sad Drum?

 A mellow musical motif feels ready to burst forth into Hawkwind-like jamming, but never does. There is a spoken recitation and, in many ways, this feels like something Robert Calvert might have done.

The Pallid Mask

Folk meets prog and psychedelia on this killer rocker with female vocals. This definitely has a a folk rock meets garage rock sound to it.


Bits of music from earlier tracks are combined with the sounds of wind and other effects. This is strange, but also quite cool.

Cassilda’s Song

Here’s an acoustic rendition of a cut we heard earlier in the set. This is tasty and quite cool.

The Waltz of the Unveiled King

Backwards tracked music powers this (or at least the bulk of it sounds backwards). This is an ambient piece of music that’s rather weird. It’s also quite cool.

Cassilda’s Song

The closing piece is a weird spoken recitation. Sound effects and mellow music end it.

Journey to Leng

Weird music and clock sound effects accompany a spoken reading. This feels a lot like something Hawkwind might have done.

Behind the Mask

The guitar sound that opens this makes me think of the crunchy Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young kind of vibe. It’s a hard rocker that’s garagey and cool.

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