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Progressive Rock CD Reviews



Review by Gary Hill

You either like Copernicus or you don’t. It’s that simple. Copernicus is a creative and very artistic performer. His music includes spoken/poetry like vocals over the top of progressive rock meets wandering artistic music. That’s a pretty close description of all the music of Copernicus. With that in mind, though, each album is different. I like this one quite a bit, really. Of course, I like Copernicus. It’s that simple. It should be noted that there is a big Black 47 connection in that main Black 47 man Larry Kirwan is a big part of this project, too.

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

Track by Track Review
Oh God!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

As one might guess from the title, Copernicus’ vocal is a pained plea to a higher entity. At first he sounds a little fearful, but he gets more crazed with each iteration. The music is weird and grows with the voice. This is a short piece.

Son Of A Bitch From The North
Mellow proggy sounds open this and Copernicus starts talking over that backdrop. This is in Spanish early and the music that rises up is very space rock oriented. This definitely gets a parental advisory in the lyric department as it shifts to English. This gets pretty crazed as it keeps building. Some of the parental advisories apply to the Spanish sections of this, too.
Chichen-Itza Elvis
A jazzy kind of vibe opens this. It gets noisy and a bit crazed, but it’s also quite a cool jam. There is a little bit of an Elvis standard at the end.
Disco Days Are Over
Violin opens this piece. Copernicus starts speaking over that backdrop. The musical background here remains mellow throughout, but Copernicus’ speaking, early quite low, gets louder and more impassioned later. There are some cool Celtic vocals later in the piece as the arrangements gets just a little more involved. In a way, later, it’s like a stripped down Black 47 song wandering in the backdrop as Copernicus delivers his words over the top. This one gets another parental advisory. It gets noisy and crazed late.
Hurl Silence
The early sounds here are more rock and when the first spoken words come across I’m reminded of the Doors a bit. It gets more stripped down and considerably stranger as it continues.
Once, Once, Once Again
This is stripped back, but also tastefully strange and bombastic. The arrangement turns more towards space rock with hints of the symphonic as this thing builds out later.
The Death of Joe Apples
Jazzy sounds wander around in the background as Copernicus tells the tale. There are clearly some parental advisories to be had here. The early modes have sort of noir feel in the musical background. It gets more modern as it continues, though.
They Own Everything
This one drops way down toward ambient sounds. It moves up just a bit past the one minute mark. Then, before it hits the minute and half mark, some mysterious, world music meets space rock and jazz starts to climb up and this gets into a strange, but very cool jam. This ends quite abruptly.
The U.S. Does Not Exist
With what sounds like a drunk instrumental take on “The Star Spangled Banner” in the background, Copernicus puts out a short, but angry rant that earns a parental advisory.
Atom by Atom
Space rock meets jazz on this cool little number. There is a real Native American vibe to it later.
Come to It

This one comes equipped with another parental advisory. It is mostly mellow and sparse. It’s also quite a long piece. It’s very much a piece of art, more than it is anything else. There are some melodies that emerge here and there, mostly in the piano playing.

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