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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

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Review by Gary Hill

Some might suggest this album land in the heavy metal category. Yes, it has a lot in common with epic metal, and some sections fall into that zone. It stretches well beyond metal, though, quite thoroughly into progressive rock territory. However you slice it, though, this is a great album.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2012  Volume 1 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Ahead Of Echoes

Waves of keyboards open this and hold it for a time. It fires out into heard edged progressive rock (with metallic leanings) after a time. It’s a fairly short instrumental.

Deepest Thoughts
The bring this in with the same basic mix of sounds heard on the previous tune. It has more shifts and changes built into it. The female vocals are soaring. There’s a killer instrumental jam that skates between more metallic and progressive sounds.
Thin Ice
An intricate and pretty progressive rock sound opens this. A quick burst of guitar laden music threatens to take over, but instead it just works as a bit of foreshadowing as the melodic sounds continue to hold it. They bring that into the foreground as they continue, but keyboards keep it from becoming more metal than progressive. This is the most dynamic piece to this point, working through a number of varying sections. At times it feels closer to heavy metal. Other points, like the cool instrumental segment later are nearly purely progressive rock oriented.
As Time Goes By
The blend of metallic and progressive sounds on this piece is nearly equally balanced. It’s, in terms of general structure, a bit like a metallic power ballad. They put in enough variety and alteration here to keep it interesting, though.
Relevant
The mix of prog and metal on the opening here is quite well in balance. It turns into one of the most unusual and cool arrangements for the verses here. This is definitely somewhat raw and quite crunchy, but it’s also decidedly progressive rock oriented. This is my favorite number to this point on the set. Yes, there are some metallic sounds here in terms of the guitar lines and sounds, but man, this is awesome and very progressive rock oriented. It’s quite dynamic with a lot of changes and twists in the mix.
As One
There is still plenty of crunch on hand here, but this is also distinctly progressive rock in texture and structure. It’s another cool and dynamic tune. We get multiple layers of vocals at points here. This is one of the best tunes of the whole set.
Promises
Powering in hard edged, this drops way down for the vocals and the cut builds out gradually from there. The vocals are often soaring on this piece and the music seems to balance between AOR oriented progressive rock and metallic textures.
Give
The general musical concept remains pretty well intact here, but this still sounds unique.
For Now
In a lot of ways this is more purely progressive rock oriented than a lot of the other music here. Sure, there is still some metal in the mix, but it’s really just fairly minor. This has some of the coolest keyboard sounds and a powerful vocal arrangement. It’s actually got one of the most involved and creative song structures of the set and covers more room than a lot of the rest of the music here. Of course, at almost twelve and a half minutes in length, this closer is the epic of the disc, giving them plenty of room to stretch.
 
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