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Progressive Rock CD Reviews


Celestial Ocean

Review by Gary Hill

This is a new edition of a classic Brainticket album from the 1970s. But wait! There’s more. In addition to the main album, we also get a live recording from the same time period, featuring a similar set. The album is very much psychedelic rock inspired, but that is really the idea with Brainticket. I suppose overall, you could consider them space rock, but their version of prog draws from a lot of things, really. I like this release a lot and the live album is a nice bonus touch.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2015  Volume 2 at

Track by Track Review
Disc One
Egyptian Kings
Percussive oddities open this and hold it at first. Then it works out to an almost jazzy kind of space rock. The vocals are processed and spoken. This is like Hawkwind meets War in some ways.
This feels like an expansion of the previous cut.
Folk prog meets space rock on this energetic, but still quite mellow piece. This is a nice change, yet it still kind of feels like an extension of what’s come before. It shifts toward psychedelia late in the piece. It works toward Hawkwind territory before adapting to some stranger sounds.
Era of Technology

This is a bit chaotic and noisy. It’s definitely electronic and industrial in tone, too. Percussion with weird sound effects kind of takes over later. It reminds me of something from Nik Turner in some ways.

To Another Universe
This is a fairly mellow song that reminds me a little of Fish era Marillion. Still, that’s dominated by space rock and the Hawkwind meets War reference works here, too.
The Space Between
Although the rhythmic elements drive the first part of this, it shifts towards the more melodic later. I particularly like the section later in the piece that has spoken vocals.
Cosmic Wind
This is a mellow folk prog meets space piece. It’s pretty and melodic. It’s a nice instrumental interlude.
The first couple minutes of this are taken up by a killer intricate keyboard solo. Drums come in after a time and it starts to take on a jazz meets ELP kind of vibe. That shifts toward more traditional space rock, but then moves out to a weird voices only bit that takes the piece to its close.
Disc Two
This weird piece works pretty well at opening the set. It’s rhythmic, and tribal, but also suitably spacey. It seems freeform and has a lot of “blank space” at first.
Egyptian Kings
As this comes out of the previous jam, it takes on some great space sounds. It’s mysterious and very trippy. It gets into more dramatic and powerful space rock. I think I actually prefer this live version to the studio take on the song. As it climbs up into more rocking territory, it moves toward percussive space.
Jam 1
Coming out of the previous track, this is very percussive, but there is still plenty of space melody and instrumentation. Parts of this make me think of early Santana just a little. It’s psychedelic, freeform and very much space music. It dissolves into more pure space to segue into the next piece.
Jam 2
Another that starts off with a lot of percussion, in some ways, it’s essentially a drum solo with some keyboards and sound effects over the top. It runs straight into the next number.
Egyptian Kings (Reprise)
Coming out of the previous piece, the melody and driving impetus gradually build up to continue themes from earlier in the show.
Jardins / Rainbow
Coming out of the previous number, this works through with some cool prog meets psychedelia and space music. Some cool melodies emerge as a spoken voice is heard over the top. We’re taken into more psychedelic rock sounds after that vocal section. It works out to noisy weirdness as it makes its way toward the next piece.
Era of Technology, Part 1
This is rather noisy, but also quite cool. It’s electronic and a little chaotic in some ways. The drums really get pretty busy on this.
Jam 3

Here we get a weird little jam that has both a drum solo and some prominent keyboard weirdness. This is marred a bit by someone clearing his throat.

Era of Technology, Part 2
This has a more melodic folk prog meets space kind of vibe to it. I really like some of the keyboard sounds on this.
Piano starts this off and builds out from there. The jam continues with the keyboards driving it as it gets quite intense. ELP meets jazz as the cut keeps evolving.
Intro (Reprise)
Drumming is the concept here. In fact, there is not much other than drums on this cut.
To Another Universe / The Space Between
Coming out of the previous piece, this builds gradually with a percussive dominance. Eventually keyboards weave some strange, but compelling sonic structures. It starts rocking out after a while, mostly by intensifying the concept. Eventually a driving element serves as the backdrop for some weird echoey spoken vocals. The keyboards rise back up after that section. It works out to a cool jam from there.
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