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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Pamela Fleming

Pam Fleming's Dead Zombie Band - DZB Rise and Dance

Review by Gary Hill

I am a big fan of Halloween. For that reason, in my mind, it's never too early to start thinking about Halloween. This recent disc from Pam Fleming is definitely designed with Halloween in mind. This is perhaps not progressive rock. Normally we land Fleming under that category because her music is fusion. This is more rock based, when it's song based. There are a lot of creepy bits that often do qualify as "progressive music," though. In a lot of ways this isn't the easiest thing to listen to as "music," but it's really not intended to be heard that way. This seems like the kind of thing that's more suited to provide a creepy experience for your Halloween fun. Still, I have to review it as music, and that's what I've done here.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2018  Volume 2 at

Track by Track Review
Trippy symphonic sounds and weird effects makes up the general concept here. It drops to some freaky piano for a voice that says "welcome."
Halloween Has Come
This has a cool rock meets reggae kind of vibe to it. Yet, it's spooky and proggy. I dig the jazzy jam later in the track a lot. The whole extended instrumental section on this thing is so cool.
With voices counting off the tick tocks, a creepy sort of clock chiming, gong sound ends this short piece.
Zombie Drag
With a lot of world music melodies in the mix, this is trippy, weird stuff. There is a real undead vibe to this creepy piece. It's built on a lot of folk elements.
The Bell
Weird piano drives a build up to a tolling bell. After that resonates for a bit, the piano remains alone. We get a poetry recitation of Poe's "For Whom the Bell Tolls." The piano remains to eventually take it to its closing.
Two Lovers
Weird folk and world music sounds are at the heart of this freaky little number. It gets a bit jazzier as it works forward.
Eerie Beauty (Lover's Lament)
"Eerie Beauty" really is the perfect title for this sad sounding piano solo.
Spirits Awake
A poem recitation with weird music in the backdrop is the idea here. It's creepy and very cool.
Dream Swirls
This is kind of a weird trippy piece. It does have a dream-like quality.
Cackle Cocktail Party
Cackling is on the menu here, along with weird music.
This almost feels like one of the scene setting things you might find on a King Diamond album. Weird voices lend a creepy texture.
Satan Is Waitin'
A cool retro rock vibe is the concept here. This has that tasty jazz kind of groove thing going on that was popular in the late 1950s or early 1960s. It gets kind of heavy and definitely has plenty of jazz prog in the mix. It's a classy number that manages to be spooky and cool at the same time. There is some weird scat singing that sounds appropriately like someone possessed at times. I love the killer guitar solo that is heard after that.
Beware the Passing of Time
Another trippy recitation piece, this has a suitably creepy vibe. It gets particularly unsettling near the end.
Comes A Time
A cool jazzy vibe starts this with a bit of a ghostly vibe. The cut is so proggy, trippy and just plain tasty. It's a mellower and more cohesive piece than a lot of the rest. This might be my favorite piece here. The weird section at the end is a nice touch.
Ready To Rise
This is just a little more than 30 seconds and just weird, mostly ambient, sounds. It has some harp and some cool guitar at the end.
Rise And Dance
With some old school rock and roll along with some reggae, this makes me think of Frank Zappa quite a bit. It's a party jam with some cool changes. It manages to really groove, too. This is another highlight of the disc.
I Suppose..
This is just a five second spoken bit.
Rise Again
Here we get a cool retro rocker that's a lot of fun. The trumpet solo is so potent. This is sort of an altered reprise of "Rise and Dance."
Time To Go
Weird trippy music gets a spoken voice that just says the title before a door creaks to end the disc.
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