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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

inKontrast

This Is Yours

Review by Gary Hill

Electronic music is one of the main orders of business here. It does rock out, though. In fact, some parts of this even lean along heavy metal lines. Other sounds represented include techno, industrial, classical, fusion and more. No matter how you slice it, though, this fits pretty well under progressive rock and is a great album.

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
Arrival

Electronic keyboards open this cut. This is fairly short and works well.

Good To Go
There is definitely more of a rocking motif here as the guitar opens it up with a hard rock meets fusion sound. The cut works out from there into one of the hardest rocking things on the whole disc. Electronic music, techno, classical and heavy metal all seem to merge on this thing. It’s another that’s fairly short.
A Clever Decent Clock

I really love the keyboard sounds that open this, although it does kind of make me think I’m about to hear Kraftwerk’s “The Robots.” As other sounds are added, though, this works out to a rocking groove that has an almost industrial vibe to it. In fact, this is one of the catchiest tunes of the set and one of the hardest rocking. There’s a cool fusion section mid-track, too, that’s a nice left turn.

Thoughtful Dreams

As acoustic guitar opens this, it is in more of a classic rock type of sound. This time, as layers of sound are added it turns into a really dramatic progressive rocker with space rock elements. Then after a false ending, it turns out to something that even has some metallic crunch in the mix. This is really a powerhouse tune and one of the best on show here. The balance between this harder rocking sound and the mellower one that showed up earlier is repeated as this cut continues.

Deep Breath
Mellow layers of keyboards open this in an electronic fashion. Somehow, there’s something just a little disquieting about this. There seems to be a sense of the unknown that might be dangerous. As the rhythm kicks up later it feels much more inviting. It even works to more straightforward mainstream rock later before dropping way down again to continue. This is actually quite a dynamic and powerful piece of music. It eventually works back out to some high energy and quite inspiring progressive rock later.
Deux Mille Un

A real change, this starts with acoustic guitar and has a real folk music leaning to it. As other elements are added, they are more like icing on the cake, symphonic strings to emphasis the emotion and add melodic layers of sound. This is quite a pretty piece of music.

Rouge Rose

Acoustic guitar opens this and holds the main melody and waves of sound emerge to add lush layers. This is pretty and quite sedate. While it gets more intense in terms of volume, the same pretty lines of balladic sound control it through its length.

Seat Taken

The rhythm sections starts this and there’s almost a dance music vibe to it. That said, some of the melody and voicings make me think of 1980s music. This is pretty and quite catchy. It’s also very intriguing. There are bits here that call to mind symphonic music.

Paradox

Patterns of keyboards open this in an almost space rock way. I can make out bits of Tomita and Kraftwerk in terms of musical reference, too. As the rocking guitar comes in, though, this becomes energized instrumental progressive rock that’s quite tasty. This has some of the hardest rocking moments to be found here and is a real high energy number. It also has some of the most distinctly symphonic sounds of the whole thing.

Impulse

The dance meets techno vibe is really in place here. This tune has tons of energy and is just plain cool. Yet, they still manage to cool it back for more melodic takes on the sound. There are some cool bits of electronic sound built into this thing.

Dilemma

This starts quite atmospheric and builds out from there with pretty melody lines woven over the top. As the rock sounds emerge, this becomes a lush and smooth progressive rock instrumental with a lot to offer. In some ways, this melodic progressive rock journey makes me think of both Pink Floyd and Tangerine Dream.

In The Mist

As the title suggests, this starts slowly and gradually.  It’s mysterious and quite pretty. There are some distinctly symphonic elements that rise up at points. I suppose this would have been called “new age” music in the 1980s. Whatever it’s called, though, it’s mellow and quite pretty. It’s also a short tune.

Departure

The electronic modes that open this feel almost symphonic. That sound rises up gradually as this is realized into existence. Non-lyrical vocals are added to the mix and it gets louder and lusher. This is powerful and dramatic. There is a really inspiring tone to it all. Then it drops way down to a pretty acoustic guitar pattern that has some folk music along with classical in the mix. It starts gradually coming back up through increased intensity on that section. After a while the progression and arrangement moves back out towards the earlier section and the energy is regained.

 
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