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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Deus Ex Machina


Review by Gary Hill

This group is an Italian prog band. That is significant because Italian prog is a sub-genre all its own. There is a type of vocal, nearly operatic in some ways, that is a big part of that type of music. This only shows bits of that. What this has is a lot of great music. It's often hard rocking. There is a healthy helping of jazz and fusion built into it. It's powerful music, even if (like me) you don't understand the lyrics.
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Track by Track Review

The introduction has a retro textured jazzy element. The riff driven movement that comes in from there, though, is modern prog at its best. This is driving and incredibly cool stuff. There is some smoking hot jazzy prog jamming later in the tune, too. I can't imagine a better opener than this cut.

This fairly short instrumental is very classical in nature.
Angular riffs and swirling jamming bring this into being. It's a killer rocker that has equal parts Rush-like sound and fusion. There is some scorching, screaming, soaring stuff later in the track.
Distratto Da Me
There is so much fusion built into the shifts and changes here. This is one of the most dynamic cuts of the disc. That really says a lot given the competition. This is a particularly effective piece of music. In a lot of ways, this is stranger than the rest of the stuff here. That is actually a strength, though.
Eterno Ritorno

This starts with world music. It grows out to more of a bluesy rocker. This is the least jazzy or proggy thing here. Still, there are hints of things like Pink Floyd in the mix.

PiĆ¹ Uguale
There is almost a Southern rock edge as this powers in. It's part King's X, part Dixie Dregs and lots more. It's tastefully off-kilter. It's also energized and a lot of fun. There is some exceptionally cool jamming on this thing. There is a cool keyboard solo section around the seven minute mark. It takes it into some spacey territory. That section eventually ends this piece.
Fierce, fast paced fusion based prog opens this and moves it forward. It's screaming hot. It shifts toward more pure jazz territory for the vocals. It works to more pure rock as it works forward. The vocals really carry that rock intensity, too.
Autore del Futuro
I really dig this cut. It's very fusion oriented. It has a great groove to it, too. The balance between mellower and more rocking stuff is great.
There is perhaps more of an Italian prog vibe to this than there is on the other tunes. It still has plenty of jazz and rock built into it, too. There is some intriguing jamming later in the piece. That instrumental movement mid-track brings more rock to the proceedings.
Quattro Piccole Mani
This is an acoustic guitar solo. It's bluesy and quite cool. Yet, at the same time it works into prog and other territories. It's a great way to ground the album to end.
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