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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Sista Maj

Series of Nested Universes

Review by Gary Hill

This is instrumental space rock. It's quite cool stuff. It has a pretty wide range of music, but as is the case with most space rock, the change is always gradual. There is no fast cornering to this music. In the Klingon language, "maj" means "good." While I don't know if this act knows that or not, I think it's appropriate that it's second half of the name of this act because they are very good.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2017  Volume 1 at
Track by Track Review
Disc 1

Peony Spies

Sparse sounds open this. It grows upward as classical instrumentation steers it. This works up toward some cool space rock as it continues. The cut keeps evolving as it goes along.

Secret Cave, Secret Rat
This is very much psychedelia in the early wanderings. after a while this turns toward harder rocking stuff, but there is still a lot of that psychedelic sound built into this beast. It's space rock oriented, too. It drops back later to a noisy bit of space to continue.
Which, In Turn, Falls
A spacey sort of drone starts this, and the cut builds gradually from there. This turns incredibly heavy and very metallic as it moves forward. It's screaming hot. Yet there is still space rock and even some jaz in the mix.
A Very Heavy Feather
The longest cut of the whole set, this epic is almost 26 minutes in length. It starts tentatively with a plinking sort of space music. This grows very gradually as most space rock does. It gets really rocking and heavy as it continues, though. It gets rather noisy and metallic as it keeps on building. Some psychedelia is added to the mix with some organ later. The cut keeps evolving from there as it shifts toward a bit mellower territory. They takes us through some particularly strange space features as they continue moving forward. While this feels quite free form, it also seems to have a goal which it works toward. It gets quite fast paced and rocking further down this musical road. It finally resolves out to more psychedelic stuff before they take it out.
Disc 2

Series of Nested Universes

Coming in a bit more on the mainstream side, this works upward with some real world music aspects at play. As this continues it works to more standard space music in a lot of ways. That said, there is still world stuff in the mix. I dig the violin in particular. Trippy, but rather noisy space takes it at the end.

Like a Diamond in This Guy
Starting a bit like Pink Floyd, this works out to some harder rocking territory from there. Then psychedelia and jazz both merge into something that's almost Beatles-like. It's among the most mainstream passages of this disc. Noisy, echoey guitar emerges over the top as they move this forward. It works to more psychedelia meets space rock territory before eventually dropping back to mellower, electronics based weirdness to end the piece.
It Never Ends
Here we get more of a driving, rocking kind of space rock tune. This gets into some pretty crazed territory at times. There are things that have hints of Hawkwind, but with a more raw vibe in some ways. Still, other parts do resemble early Hawkwind pretty directly. Late in the piece we get some seriously trippy electronic weirdness as the only sound. It's very much space music, but not space rock. A more rock oriented groove does rise up from there before this is all finished.
Bones of Steel
Space weirdness starts things here. This is fairly sparse and mellow as it builds with something like freeform soundtrack oddities sprinkled with pure space noise. This definitely works toward rather classically oriented world music as it continues. They eventually work out to more trippy space music. I wouldn't call it rock so much, but it's definitely spacey. That eventually takes it out.
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