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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Roland Buehlmann


Review by Gary Hill

This new album from Roland Buehlmann continues the trend of his previous release. It's truly a solo effort. It's fully instrumental, too. The music lands in the territory shared between progressive rock and fusion. There is a wide swath of sonic ground covered here. While it's only five songs, it is over 50 minutes in length, as they are all long tracks. If you like potent instrumental prog, you should give this a try. It's a great disc.
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Track by Track Review

Starting with mellow musical elements, this pushes forward as a melodic kind of balladic piece. There is both prog rock and fusion in the mix. It powers out beyond that into some smoking hot jamming that still has the same basic musical reference points. This makes me think Al Di Meola quite a bit, but it lands perhaps just a bit closer to the progressive rock side of the prog/fusion equation than does Di Meola's music. It drops to a mellower movement that even has some hints of Celtic music. The cut eventually powers back up and continues to build forward by working within the same sort of mellower section countered by a rocking one. The closing mellower movement seems to have some cool Americana elements at play to some degree.


Drums lead us out here. Then some melodic elements rise up bringing into something that's more pure prog rock. There is some crunchy guitar that enters after a bit. The cut still has some rather twisted proggy elements at its heart, though, keeping this from even approaching anything close to metallic territory. There is some killer guitar soloing later that takes near to the vein of technical metal. Then it drops way down for a mellow movement. The section that rises up from there has a real fast paced Black Sabbath kind of vibe. As other elements are heard it works more toward technical metal. It eventually shifts to more a fusion sound.


The section that opens this is closer to a pure rock sound. It gets some more proggy things laced over the top as it continues. Then it drops to something akin to Tangerine Dream for a while. The cut grows out into some smoking fusion jamming from there. As it gets to more melodic territory, the fusion concepts continue with some world music built into it, too. It gets pretty crazed as it continues building. I love some of the bass work during that fast paced jam. Then it drops back for a mellower movement to continue. There is some killer hard rocking stuff further down the road.


Starting very mellow and echoey, this works out slowly from there. As it gets into some killer fusion, I love the bass sound. I love some of the melodic elements that emerge here. The evolution of this piece is more gradual and straight-line than in the previous tracks. This is one of the most effective things here, too. It's just incredibly cool.

Pange Chorda

This is very spacey and trippy at the start. It's minimalist for sure. Around the two and a half minute mark some melody seems to threaten to rise up and take control of the piece. It turns toward mellow music that's along the lines of new age from there. The growth of the piece is very gradually until around the nine minute 15 second mark when it gets a real infusion of hard rock energy. It works forward from there in fine fashion. It eventually makes its way back to something akin to a powered up new age sound before dropping back down to mellower space elements. At over eighteen minutes in length, this is the epic of the set. It's also the most dynamic and diverse.

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