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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Sailor Free

Spiritual Revolution Part Two

Review by Gary Hill

This new album from Sailor Free might well make my best of 2016 list. It’s such cool modern prog. It has elements of space rock, jazz and psychedelia built into it, but that’s not the extent of the concepts. This is quite a diverse set really. What’s consistent is quality and a progressive nature.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2016  Volume 4 at

Track by Track Review
Spiritual Ouverture II

This opening instrumental piece is fairly short. It’s also spacey and quite psychedelic.

The Maze of Babylon
This fires in like something from the first couple King Crimson albums. It’s got a great twisting riff driving it. It drops way down to a mellow arrangement for the first vocals. That part gets into a rather jazz ballad meets psychedelic texture. There is a powered out instrumental movement that’s more like the opening section. Then it returns to the mellower motif for the next vocals, but it powers up again, this time with vocals over the top.
This is another instrumental. It’s quite trippy with classical, space music and psychedelia merged. It’s shorter than the last cut, but still over two and a half minutes in length.
The Fugitive
A mellower cut, this feels a bit like some of the moody Euro stuff from the 80s. It still has a proggy tilt to it, though. This song really has a nice flow to it.
This is still somewhat mellow, but it’s a little more powered up than the previous one. It’s also a bit faster paced. There are some hard edged guitar bits that come across. Piano drives a lot of this. It seems to combine the kind of sound on the last number with some jazzy prog elements. There is some great keyboard soloing in the later sections of this piece.
Game over. It's Me
Another shorter cut, this is basically an instrumental. There are some bits of spoken vocals more as instrumentation, though. It starts atmospheric, but powers to a rhythmic jam with space rock and jazz rock merged. It’s one of the harder rocking things here. It’s also very cool.
We are Legion
The early parts of this have a lot of that 80s Euro turned prog sound. That portion builds in a great way. When it fires out into some smoking hot crunchy prog, this thing really just elevates into the stratosphere. It’s such an awesome piece of music. I love the mood and the guitar soloing. It’s almost metal, but all prog.
Special Laws
There is a great jazzy groove to this cut. It’s energetic and fun. I love the vocal arrangement, too. It continues in a fairly straightforward way, but ultimately becomes a really powered up prog rock jam that’s incredible.
This is another basically instrumental interlude. It’s mostly sound effects and things that feel like “found sounds.”
About Time
There is a great balance here between an almost techno mellower section and a powered up modern moody prog sound. This is dark and rather heavy. It’s also melodic and very cool. In some ways it makes me think of Tool, but with a more traditional prog edge to it. Weird atmospherics with something like throat singing ends it.
Revolutionary Soul
The mix of sounds here is both modern and classic in a lot of ways. There is more of that Euro-80s texture along with jazz, electronic music and more. It’s a cool and very effective way to end such an exceptional album.
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