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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Secret Saucer

Element 115

Review by Gary Hill

There is a lot of Hawkind type space rock in the sound of Secret Saucer. There’s also some more psychedelic sound, too. This is a cool disc, but so are the rest of their albums. It would be hard to pick a definite favorite really.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2012  Volume 6 at

Track by Track Review
Star Rise

This is just a short, space meets psychedelia introduction.

Sword of Conneault
Powering out from the previous cut, the guitar really drives this. It solos over a lot of the song and there are definitely Hawkwind references here, but also a lot of 1960s jam music.
Solar Winds
While this is pretty standard space rock jamming, it’s also a cool bit of music that works very well.
A mellower cut, this instrumental is a classic merging of space rock and psychedelia.
Atom Smasher

Coming in tentatively, this powers out to something a bit like stoner rock merged with space rock. It’s a screaming rocker that’s quite cool. It has some awesome melodic guitar soloing in the mix. That guitar really is the main factor of this tune.

The Traveler
This is one of the most Hawkwind like cuts here. Both guitar and keyboards get a chance to solo and inspire.
Coming in slower and mellower, this one is another that would not be out of place on a Hawkwind album. It grows gradually and is very much a space rock number. Pink Floyd’s Meddle disc seems a valid reference point at times, too.
Desert of Existence
Another that’s slower and mellower, this one features some particularly tasty guitar work and some great keyboard elements. It’s one of the stronger pieces of the set.
Astral Progeny
This number again makes me think of Pink Floyd quite a bit. That’s particularly true of the guitar that solos over the top of the thing. That guitar is the central point of interest here as it creates lots of great spacey sounds.
Looking Skyward
Coming in rather tentatively there are some pretty moments here. A driving bass line later is cool and this one seems a pretty even marriage between Pink Floyd and Hawkwind sounds.
There’s a driving rhythm section here and some great retro sounds. It seems like a psychedelic meets surf music meets space rock kind of number. Again, early Pink Floyd is a valid comparison in a lot of ways. More pure space rock takes over later in the number.
Beyond Time

At times, particularly early on, this doesn’t feel that far removed from heavy metal. There are some bits later that seem close to music from Joe Satriani or Steve Vai. This another cool piece of space rock that’s quite cool. Other parts of the piece are closer to pure space rock, but there is a certain accessibility here that sets it apart from the rest of the album. It’s also my favorite track here.

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