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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

The Void’s Last Stand

Rakash

Review by Gary Hill

The blend of sounds Void’s Last Stand produces isn’t for everyone. It’s definitely progressive rock, but it is often a bit abrasive, along the lines of RIO. Still, it’s a sound that is really unique in the world of progressive rock. There’s no way you’ve ever heard another band that sounds like this. It’s creative and powerful music by musicians who show that they’ve got a lot of talent. Whether this is your cup of tea or not, there’s no denying that talent.

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
Mother Sun and the other Son (Part III) - The Syrian Goddess

A psychedelic prog sound opens this. The vocals bring weirdness ala Gong. The music modulates out to fairly traditional progressive rock, but the vocals definitely maintain this in the weird music category. They also include some noisy, banging type of psychedelic prog. Sometimes the vocals even make me think of The Dead Kennedys and the music here seems to meander along the lines of progressive rock, fusion and jam band sounds. In addition to the weirdness brought by most of the vocals, there’s even a section that sounds like a goat. This is certainly strange and not for everyone. It is, however, always interesting and certainly adventurous. Around the seven minute mark there’s a section with Robert Calvert like vocals and guitar soaring overhead. More musical weirdness emerges after that. Later on we’re taken to something a bit like the stranger side of Pentwater.

Sail my Ship Achilles
Those weird vocals continue here with a song that’s part David Bowie, part punk rock, part old Pink Floyd and part mainstream prog. This is quite bizarre. It’s fairly mellow, but also rather discordant and hard to take. The soaring melodic guitar solo that comes across later is awesome, though.  
Cut open Feet
Here’s another weird journey with fairly pure progressive rock and jam music merged with strange vocals. There’s some killer guitar soloing on this tune. There’s a crazy section later where a jam band styled guitar movement gives way to an acapella section followed by a Dead Kennedys gone prog movement. We get a weird hard edged guitar sound later that’s very acid rock like. They just keep changing and rearranging here in weird ways. Then we get a weird little jazz section further down the road.
She's a Ghost / They Shall not Pass
A weird acoustic ballad motif that feels almost tongue in cheek in terms of delivery gives way to an organ section that feels like church music. The second half of this is like a Robert Calvert song with some punk rock and Radiohead thrown into it. There’s some cool melodic guitar soloing built into this, too.
Land(e)scapes and the Beauty of No. 64
Chaotic RIO-like jamming opens this and then a guitar solos over the top. At points it’s melodic and at other points dissonant. They work it out to more dissonant fusion weirdness from there. Guitar soloing that’s more melodic and acoustic based takes it into a more traditional progressive rock direction. As guitar solos over the top it’s more rocking but still not as strange as a lot of the music here. This instrumental just keeps growing and changing from there with some awesome guitar work built into the piece. It turns a little dissonant and weird at certain places. Then around the ten minute mark it works out to some more crazed RIO before it ends.
Glass Cabinet
Here’s another cut with a lot of Calvert-like Hawkwind with punk rock mixed into it. They take us through a number of changes and alterations, but overall the basic motif remains pretty much the same. This is actually (strange as it is) one of the most accessible and strongest pieces here.
An Ode to Antoine Marie Joseph Artaud: Poesy in Asylum
This is a spoken poetry reading.
 
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