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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Last Giant

Memory of the World

Review by Larry Toering

Last Giant only reached my radar recently after hearing this great full- length CD. Being from the pacific northwest myself, it is a breath of fresh air to hear rock and metal played with a strong prog feel. This isn’t more prog than not, but it does have some of the core values of prog to spice it up nicely on what is essentially a hard rock album. There are some sub-genre bells and whistles which also include a little grunge and a little glam. This band seems to have all those elements down, and they feature some excellent percussion work on all of them. As the saying goes, a band is nothing without a good drummer. But this goes both ways concerning the entire group. If they get wind of this review, I hope they follow this up and emerge on the Portland area as the premiere rockers they appear to be on Memory of the World.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2017  Volume 4 at
Track by Track Review
Living In Photographs
This begins with an intriguing intro, and the track gets going with a lot of breaks in the mix. It’s a solid opener and a good choice for one. The sound is vibrant and poppy, but not in any soft-core manner. It rocks in perfect timing to get the album underway.
Diamond Decade
In almost the exact same tempo, they get right into this, and the drums come on ever stronger, and vocals even bigger sounding. I might even like this more than the opener. It’s another good track either way. It’s very proggy too.
The Comedian
There is a lot more percussion here than on the previous tracks, which only hint at such. This simply kicks things up a notch in that department and practically speaks for the whole track that way. The vocals feature more high sustaining notes, as well. It appears to progress as it goes, by the sound of this. 
Toys For The Devil
This is more straight-forward rock, but it’s hard to label it that way when the drums keep such odd time signature throughout. But it’s more about the guitars here. 
The record starts to peak here, with some drama and a lot of darkness to go with it. The riff is big, and the vocals are too. It almost sports a Soundgarden influence. It is certainly a northwest thing, but somehow even bigger in places to its credit. This is another good track. 
Drastic Plastic
This is a little more incendiary with an almost punky vibe to it. But once again the drums carry a lot of weight here, and the chorus comes off very cool. This is where a few elements of what they do come together collectively to offer their best.
In the Calm
By this time there is no denying that this is an awesome band, even if you can’t envision where they’re headed just by listening to it. But it fits its own title and gives a chance for things to slow down a little, and it does have a calming effect. 
This one if full of glorious power chords with an easier to follow vocal approach, but it doesn’t radiate like some of the others. The guitars carry this one the most. It slows down toward the end for a nice change. This has more inflections of the prog factor.
Blood On The Road
The intros to these songs are what really push the prog along, but in this case it’s very brief and another more straight-forward rock track is the result.
All the Same
This isn’t the best, nor the worst track on offer, but it helps fill the void before the show ends. The title helps the understand that as well.
Saint Paul
The disc ends with another one of the bigger sounding tracks, which mixes the progressive factors with the straight-forward elements. The vocals stay rooted in a northwest fashion, with some metal attitude. The riff is another big one, and there is also plenty of melody on this to take out a decent record.
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