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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Black Bluebirds

Like Blood For Music

Review by Gary Hill

This album is unique and a bit hard to pin down. I suppose the easiest reference is to say "Gothic rock," but there is a lot of range and stylistic alteration within that description. Parts of this land close to metal. Other parts have elements of progressive rock. There are hints of things like pop music, Bruce Springsteen and more. I have to say that I'm not overly enthused about the lead vocals. This works pretty well, though. It never feels tired or redundant.

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Track by Track Review
Love Kills Slowly

The sound here is quite intriguing. It's powered up and a bit raw. Yet there is a polished coliseum rock edge to it. The female (mostly) backing vocals really add a lot to this mix. This is driving and powerful. It's a great way to start the set in style. There are elements of both heavy metal and progressive rock built into this thing.

Strange Attractor
Gothic rock is the idea here for the most part. The metal and prog elements are both still heard. This is a driving cut that works quite well.
Life In White
This is a bit like a power ballad. Personally, this cut feels a bit awkward to me at times. When it's powered up it works better, but the mellower moments are not as effective.
There is an epic metal edge to this. The cut has an anthemic kind of quality to it. It's a cool rocker that's one of the stronger pieces here.
House of No More Dreams
Although this starts rather fiercely, it shifts out to a bit more of a mainstream rocker. That said, it's still drenched in the slightly off-kilter Gothic sounds of the rest of the set. I dig the bit of keyboard soloing at the end.
Hole in the Day
This cut is a big change. It has a bit of a psychedelic rock meets prog vibe to it. It's a melodic rocker that is quite intriguing. There is zero metal in the mix here. This definitely goes a long way toward keeping this from feeling monolithic.
Soul of Wood
While there is some metal in the mix here, this is a more melodic rocker, too. I'm not overly crazy about the mellower parts of the cut, but the rocking stuff works well.
Don’t Fall In Love
Basically a power ballad, this is classy stuff. It's another that brings some variety. There is almost a Bruce Springsteen goes Gothic vibe as far as I'm concerned. I dig the guitar solo on this thing.
My Eyes Were Closed
More of a melodic rocker, this is another of the bits of variety here. It's also one of the stronger cuts. It's a solid tune.
A power rocker with more of that Gothic element, this is a mainstream style cut. It's pretty catchy. It's one of the stronger pieces here, making it a good choice to close the set.
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