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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Overhead

Of Sun and Moon

Review by Gary Hill

This album really features an intriguing blend of sounds. At times it’s metallic. Parts feel to be in the same general musical territory as Dream Theater, not sounding like them, but rather landing in the same area musically. Tool and industrial music turn up as influences, but so does fusion and even The Doors. Psychedelia is on hand at times. All in all, though, it’s all woven into a sound that is both unique and compelling.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2013  Volume 1 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Lost Inside Pt. 2

Pounding in metallic, this drops to mellower sounds that are distinctly modern progressive rock with some hints of pop rock and a little bit of weirdness. The chorus, though, is built on this exceptionally heavy sound. It creates a great contrast of sounds. That kind of alternating of contrasting sounds makes up the tune. There are some exceptionally cool moments, though.

Berlin
Again they start this off in metal modes, but rather than drop way down the progressive leanings are built into the mix. It’s perhaps closer to the harder edged prog of outfits like Dream Theater. Mind you, this doesn’t sound like Dream Theater, but it lands sort of in the same general area. There is some technical metal guitar soloing included in this beast. It should be said that, while it doesn’t drop to the mellow prog modes that the previous one showed off, it does get some mellower treatments in the arrangement. They just happen to remain more metallic.
An Afternoon of Sun and Moon

Quirky, melodic and fairly mellow progressive rock is the bulk of this tune. Yes, it does get a bit crunchy at times. This cut is rather strange, but also quite cool. It’s definitely a change from the more metallic songs that started us out here.

Aftermath

Moody modern progressive rock starts this off, feeling a bit like Tool. There are short bits of metal added to the mix. That sort of metallic vibe takes control at times in the cut, feeling a bit industrial. This is another tune that makes great use of contrasting tones of heavy and mellower.

Syriana

Fast paced progressive rock opens this and it drops to a percussion heavy jam for the first vocals. There is clearly some psychedelia built into this. It’s got plenty of energy and a bit of crunch, though. This is one of the more dynamic and powerful cuts on show here. There’s a killer keyboard laden segment later in the track that has elements of fusion and The Doors. Then it fires out to the most metallic movement of the cut. However, the effect is actually more space rock than it is metal. It drops down after that, though to a very mellow passage.

Grotte

Surf sounds meet heavy metal as this opens. It drops to more atmospheric space rock as this continues, but the guitar sound brings back more of that surf sound. Flute brings comparisons to Jethro Tull. This becomes quite a tasty jam with a great groove and a lot of energy. This instrumental is one of the coolest tunes on the whole disc. There are a lot of different flavors and sounds built into this thing. It has mellower sections and harder rocking ones. It’s really quite spacey a lot of the time. Mellow space segues into the next one.

Last Broadcast

Mellow space rock opens this cut and it builds gradually outward from there. This remains slow, sedate and moody. It’s quite a cool piece of music. It’s also a nice change of pace and is pretty well rooted in the kind of modern prog that acts like Porcupine Tree do. Around the four minute mark it powers out to something a bit more metallic, but the slow pace and cool arrangement, featuring flute, keep things proggy. A faster paced jam takes it later.

Alive

More traditional progressive rock sounds bring this one up out of the sounds left behind from the previous one. This energetic and classy. There are some great progressive rock movements built into this beast. At times it seems like more modern prog. At other points, it’s more tied to traditional progressive rock. It’s always cool, though. Later in the piece there are some space rock like moments. It also gets quite heavy later in the piece. There’s sort of a false ending, then it powers in hard edged, but not quite metal. It’s more like really frantic classic rock. The vocals bring some metal meets punk energy. From there, more high energy space rock, with flute, takes this to its close.

Angels and Demons

The bombastic opening here feels quite familiar. It’s cruncby, but still clearly progressive rock. It gives way to more of a straightahead hard rock sound from there. After a time there’s more of a space rock mode and the cut alternates between these two styles as it continues. That opening segment returns later, too. The different sections move away and then return with more intense arrangements on them here and there. A high energy jam ensues later on in the piece. Then a more rock and roll based jam takes it. We get more surf music as they continue. It gets heavy for a while, but then the rhythm section takes over as the backdrop for a flute solo. The chorus returns from there. The opening section comes in one more time to take the album to its end.

 
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