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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Ingranaggi della Valle

Warm Spaced Blue

Review by Gary Hill

This is such a cool album. It's modern in some ways, but really the grounding is within the more old school type of prog. There are symphonic things here, jazzy prog elements and more. It does get a bit heavy, particularly on the closing tune, but more like Red era King Crimson than metal. I would say that King Crimson is probably the most frequent reference point here, but there is a lot more going on than just that.
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Track by Track Review
Call For Cthulhu: Orison

This comes in slow and spacey and grows almost glacially. There is a real stripped back, minimalist approach. This resembles soundtrack music for the first minute and a half or so. Then it works to something more like a chamber music based prog rock as it continues to evolve. From there we get some trippy kind of almost jazzy prog. It resembles some of the more free-form sparse stuff from early King Crimson to a large degree. By around the three and a half minute mark it explodes into hard edged jamming that's still quite Crimson-like. There are very symphonic things built into this as it grows. It eventually works out to some screaming hot prog for the vocals. I love the multiple vocal lines. The guitar that continues rising after that section is well worth mentioning, too. This is so much like King Crimson in a lot of ways that it's scary.

A powered up progressive rock jam is the concept at the start. This shifts this way and that. It has some jazzy elements at times. There are drop backs to mellower, more stripped back things. The changes are frequent and the piece reflects a lot of intriguing flavors and elements. There are some spoken vocals later in the track, but they are more like soundbites. I think they are in German. The real vocals come in over the top of a rocking movement around the seven minute mark. The jamming that comes out of that is seriously powerful and soaring. This gets very intense.
Call For Cthulhu: Through The Stars
This shorter (less than three and a half minutes) cut has backwards tracked things and other oddities creating a suitably trippy soundscape.
Lada Niva
This powers in with some killer high energy progressive rock. It's arguably the most mainstream 70s styled prog of the whole album. It's works through with something a bit like Yes meets Gentle Giant. When it works out to the vocal movement, though, it gets into more of the strange, side of that era of prog. It's tied to things like Rock In Opposition there. This is a great piece of music that really pulses with a classic prog sound. As the piece continues to shift and evolve there are some jazzier elements at play at times.
Ayida Wedo
This works through a number of cool shifts and changes as it comes out of the gate. It's often jazzy, but has electronic prog and a lot more built into it. There is a lot of old school melodic prog in the mix. I like the balance between mellower and more powered up stuff. There are some particularly hard rocking, almost heavy metal, elements that appear at times on this thing. Still, it's pure prog.
Call For Cthulhu: Promise
This comes in mellow with picked guitar. There is a bit of a twisted element to the progression. The vocals enter in a rather balladic fashion as the song gradually builds forward. The cut evolves toward the jazzy end of the spectrum in inspired jamming for a time. It gets decidedly heavy and rather metallic beyond that. There are definitely Red-like things going on as this carries forward. It is a powerhouse way to take it to a very satisfying conclusion.
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