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Progressive Rock CD Reviews


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Review by Gary Hill

I really dig the mix of sounds on this album. You’ve got some seriously metallic elements at play, and some songs really showcase a lot of that. But, on the other end of the spectrum there are mellow prog sections that come in closer to Genesis and Pink Floyd. There’s also space rock and psychedelia in the mix. The album just works really well at putting all these diverse sounds (and some others) into a blender and coming out with something that’s entertaining and cohesive. This is a real winner.

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

Track by Track Review
Behind the Wall

This starts off heavy and crunchy, almost metallic and works through a couple short shifts in the extended introduction. Then it drops to a mellower section that has some space rock and psychedelia built into it. As the vocals join I’m reminded a bit of both Genesis and Pink Floyd. The crunch returns as they pull up out of that first vocal section and the harder rocking sound remains for the next vocals. Those two musical concepts continue to contrast one another for quite some time. Then they power it out into a heavy metal meets space rock jam from there. This instrumental section is extended and gives various instruments turns to shine above the rest. An even mellower section heralds the return of the vocals. Then keyboards drive a section beyond that and they turn it metallic again. From there it gets into a more spacey, but still heavy and crunchy, movement. They end the cut with a mellow little motif.

The sound that opens this even more metallic than anything heard on the first tune. Then it drops back to a stripped back stoner metal meets psychedelia jam for the vocals. It feels quite space rock like in a lot of ways. The metal returns at the end of the verse. Those two styles are recurring at points, but there’s also a movement that feels a bit like grunge music. There’s also a fast paced jam that’s a little crazed. It descends into chaotic space later, too. That section gives way to more mellow psychedelic progressive rock. Sections run through only to be replaced and then return. There’s even a segment later that makes me think of Captain Beyond a bit.
Book of Faces

The early sections of this are set in mellow, rather psychedelic meets electronic sounds. They turn it towards metal and more straightforward hard rock later. This beast is pretty crazed in a lot of ways. It seems never ending changes and doesn’t really have the accessible moments that were heard in the first couple tunes. Still, it’s cool.

The End of Evolution

This one comes in with some great progressive rock sounds. They do a cool job of alternating between mellower, and harder rocking modes on this cut. It’s one of the most accessible numbers here and might be my favorite tune of the whole set. There are some great musical moments and melodies built into this beast. There is a heavy movement later in the tune followed by a keyboard solo and then a breakout jam that might be my favorite sequence here.

Dives and Pauper

As this starts off, it almost feels like fusion. Then it powers into more of the hard rocking prog that is heard on the rest of the disc. The cut careens this way and that with varying sections rising, working through and going away, only to show up in altered form later. There are some cool melodic guitar solo sections here and some of the instrumental passages in the piece are particularly strong.

Coming to Terms With Mortality in the Face of Insurmountable Odds

This one comes in with the most metallic sounds so far. Then it drops way down for some mellow and rather pretty music with sound effects in the mix. As it works out from there it’s quite psychedelic and somehow reminds me a little of Pentwater in some ways. In a lot of ways this is the most cohesive and least dynamic piece here, seeming to grow more organically. Still, this does grow a lot and shift and change. It also has some of the coolest progressive rock jams here and has some symphonic moments. I’d have to say that it’s my favorite cut of the whole set. Around the seven and a half minute mark, there’s a false ending. Weird sounds and piano build out from there. Then it works out to a new section that’s based on some cool guitar work. This movement gets a little weird and has a busy bass line wandering around in the background. Keyboards rise up after a while to weave some nice melodies over the arrangement. Eventually this gets a bit stranger again and takes the album to its end.

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