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Progressive Rock CD Reviews


Dictionary 2

Review by Gary Hill

This is quite a cool disc. Jam band music is blended with fusion, more traditional progressive rock, shredding and a whole lot more. It all works together as some kind of cohesive sound, though. That’s kind of impressive in and of itself. This is, overall, quite a fun ride.

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

Track by Track Review

Frantic, but very tasty, guitar dominated fusion opens this and holds it for a while. Then it drops way down as a guitar sort of glides across the background of percussion. This wanders through a number of changes and get into some seriously classic rock oriented sounds at times. It’s a killer instrumental tune that works quite well.

At just over eleven and a half minutes in length, this is of epic proportions. Bass opens this in a very classical kind of jam, but it’s also quite jazz oriented. That bass holds the piece for quite a while, over a minute and a half, in fact. Then guitar enters and holds the piece by itself for a time. Next up, the drums take over. The full group launches out around the three and a half minute mark into a jam that calls to mind Al di Meola quite a bit. This thing really develops into quite the jam, with some retro psychedelic rock elements merging as it continues, but these guys manage to just plain shred at the same time. It’s amazing stuff. What a ride this is.

While this is much less crazed and more mainstream, the cut doesn’t lack in just plain cool vibes. It has some funk and some blues in the mix, but overall, it’s very much tasty jazz meets progressive rock. The bass line on this thing is particularly noteworthy, but there are also some great changes and shifts as it continues through.

Don Juan

Jam band meets fusion and southern rock and this cool little number. It’s one of the more mainstream pieces, but still manages some shifts and turns. It’s a great piece of music that’s a lot of fun.

Bliker 3

This is another epic piece, weighing in at almost eleven minutes. A piano solo takes up the first minute or so. Then it launches out into harder rocking territory that’s pretty freeform in nature. That same jam band meets fusion element is on display. After another minute or so, it drops down to a sparse arrangement that’s sort of a space King Crimson approach. Further down the road, while still staying sparse and mellow, that space element really starts to dominate. Then, past the eight minute mark, it powers out into a more energized and hard rocking jam that’s quite cool. It gets almost metallic as that works through.

Etude Indienne

An even more extensive number, this one stretches to almost thirteen minutes. It rises up pretty gradually with percussion and some jam band type sounds building up slowly. Eventually we’re taken to a fast paced fusion jam from there. Then it drops back to percussion dominated atmospheric sounds to continue. It gets some cool psychedelic rock meets jam band modes as it comes up out of there. It gets really crazed and really cool as they keep reinventing this thing and exploring out in new directions.

Miles Away

This is a fairly tentative cut, but also a pretty straightforward one. There’s a cool groove to it as it builds out, though. It moves and shifts, but overall is one of the most consistent pieces. After the last couple numbers, that makes it a welcome change.

The closer is the longest track of all, at over thirteen minutes. It comes in jazzy and builds out in great fashion with some tasty guitar work over the top. It shifts towards more freeform jamming as the guitar weaves almost Fripp-like lines over the percussion track. It works out to some seriously Crimsonian jamming as this continues. It does get pretty loud and even a little noisy further down the musical road.
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