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Progressive Rock CD Reviews


Obsolete Continuum

Review by Larry Toering

AraPacis are from Canada, led by the husband and wife duo of Jerry Feilden and the amazing Shelle McPherson on vocals. You could call this female-fronted metal, but it’s more along the lines of prog than not, especially on this (their sixth album to date). McPherson's voice is massively unique and Feilden's guitar playing is second to none on this chapter of sorts in their musical journey. They tend to feature guests and have had Don Airey of Deep Purple in the past. This time Vinnie Appice makes a special appearance on one of the tracks.

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Track by Track Review
The first thing I notice as they kick off is how much different this sounds than their last CD. The sound is warm and cozy, and this track just flows like a slinky. The vocals are over the top with high notes, but the track also flows melodically with Jerry Fielden displaying his monster guitar chops all over the place.
This track is instantly more proggy, with a few metal moments thrown in. They get into a lot about the title itself, and you can guess the rest. The feature of this track is the vocals which come completely alive.
The Grey Procession
Things weigh in a lot more prog than not where this comes in. The intro is dramatic with some fantastic percussion to spice it up. It’s dark and heavy but also light and fully in the right parts with a whispering vocal that builds up into one of the best tracks on the album.
Kicking Around Blues
The blues is just a refrain here, as the groove is “bluesy” on this awesome track. Think "progressive blues," and you’re getting somewhere. McPherson's gritty vocal performance is all brash and beauty in one stand out spot.
This is another great song. It’s where the album gets close to defining what it’s all about.
Obsolete Continuum
The title track is where the concept comes alive and gets to prove what it’s all about, and it delivers with maximum results. This comes with loads of time signature changes and a surprise horn solo. It’s a beautiful piece of music that fuses into a guitar solo that takes the track out.
This number features a guest performance from Vinnie Appice on drums. It almost makes the band sound like Black Sabbath with McPherson's vocals and some strings added. It just works as if he’s in the band, but it’s not like the drums aren’t already heavy. It’s just that when Appice plays you know it’s him without sounding like he’s taking over. Once again, the vocals here are excellent, too. Everyone churns out their best on this epic track.
The set closes with one of the darkest tracks, and it makes the whole statement stick. Even if you don’t know what they’re singing about you can’t help but follow along. More odd time signature changes on this are what take it over the edge for an awesome closer to a complex and dynamic recording. 
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