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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Patrick Grant

A Sequence of Waves

Review by Gary Hill

With this music described as "weird," I came at this set with a bit of trepidation. I mean, given a lot of the music I hear, something advertised as weird seemed to hold a special level of difficulty. Well, I was very pleasantly surprised. I love this mostly instrumental (one song has vocals almost as instrumentation) album. In fact, it's likely to make my best of 2017 list. It has such a great blend of classical music, progressive rock and more. It never lets me down and never repeats itself. If you like instrumental prog that's adventurous, give this a try.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2017  Volume 5 at

Track by Track Review
Lucid Intervals

I love this piece. I actually wrote a similar piece many years ago as the opening number for my first album. Mind you, I'm talking about the music itself, not the arrangement. Mine was a single synthesized voice - actually played on an old personal computer. This arrangement starts on violin and gradually grows outward with more and more instruments added to the mix. It's quite a nice mix of classical music and instrumental prog.

Driving Patterns
Here's another awesome piece of music. There is a lot of fusion built into this thing. It's fast paced and powered up with some great melodies and textures. There are hints of Belew era King Crimson here for sure. This gets quite involved and powerful as it works its way forward.
Prelude I

Surf guitar meets King Crimson in this cool track. It's a fast paced workout that really rocks.

There is a bit of an alcoholic vibe to this. It's a fun stomper that's part Dixie Dregs and part King Crimson. It's another tasty one.
Classical music and harder rocking stuff merge on this.
The mix of classical with King Crimson is accurate to some degree. There is surf guitar built into this, too. It's a powerhouse instrumental that keeps shifting and changing.
Seven Years at Sea
This has more of a folk prog turned psychedelic vibe to it. There are some vocals on the number, but more as instrumentation. I can't really tell what they are saying. This is another strong cut on a disc that's full of them.
Breaking Butterflies Upon a Wheel
The opening riff on this feels like a King Crimson take on a Judas Priest riff. It works out from there to a more definite KC type of sound. This is a rocking, high energy number that's very cool. It works through quite a few changes and really manages to thrill throughout.
Lonely Ride Coney Island
This comes in with mellower electronic music and works its way upward gradually through the course of the ride. While King Crimson has been a frequent reference point here, I'd consider this to be closer to something like Tangerine Dream or Synergy.
Primary Blues
With a real jazzy vibe, this is a lot of fun. If shifts and turns in some great ways. It never fails to entertain or groove. Yet, it's decidedly prog rock based.
Prelude II

Classical music, King Crimson type stuff and more merges on this picked guitar excursion. This is cool stuff.

To Find a Form That Accommodates the Mess

Fast paced jamming is the idea here. This is melodic progressive rock with an emphasis on the "rock" part of that equation. King Crimson is a valid reference as is California Guitar Trio. This is quite dynamic working through a number of different movements. What a powerhouse this piece is.

One Note Samba
The sounds of a touch-tone phone being dialed starts this and serves as an accompaniment for a while. After a time instrumentation joins and moves this forward in a King Crimson meets Rock In Opposition way. As this works forward it drops way down and sounds of a construction site, including a truck backing up, are heard. It works back out to the main musical themes as that drops away. There are more weird sound effects that show up before the dramatic close of the album.
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