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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

The Man from RavCon

Another World

Review by Gary Hill

This is instrumental music in terms of a very general description. It also lands under progressive music, but there are a lot of varying flavors and concepts presented here. Depending on the song you might hear things ranging from surf music to psychedelia, electronic sounds, jazz and more. It's all entertaining, and I really like this set a lot. Mike Brown is the main guy behind this project, but he has a couple guests at different points on the set (Jeff Eacho - flute and Larry Smith - lead guitar).

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Track by Track Review
This rises up gradually with intricate slow moving tones starting things. That ends and then a faster paced jam ensues, bringing a different flavor and energy. This is cool electronic prog as it drives outward. The guitar rises up bringing more of a rock and roll edge to this thing. It works through and eventually drops back down with the electronics taking over again. Then the more rock based stuff returns as it continues. This time around it works up to some killer prog rock jamming that has elements of both The Beatles and Pink Floyd in the mix. There is a real classic rock groove to it. That movement takes it to the end.
Satellite Flight
As this comes in it almost feels like a cross between jazz and space rock to me. It gets some surf guitar styled stuff added to the mix, but also shifts further toward the space end of the equation. This works through a number of changes and definitely has a lot of psychedelia built into the mix.
Max the Cat
This number is a cool groove that has a lot of jazz in the mix. It's a fun tune.  There is some killer jamming underway on this. The guitar work is so potent. The organ lends some retro textures. The whole arrangement is classy with a great balance between rocking and more sedate, classical, rock and jazz leanings.
Code Red
The guitar at the start of this is the most meaty rocking stuff we've heard to this point. The piece has a fast paced grind to it that is so effective. There are some decidedly psychedelic elements as this number works its way forward. It really drives onward in style and drops to a mellow keyboard based bit for the last moments.
Promised Land
Clean guitar chords bring this into being with a real classic rock sound. It grows outward from there with a jam that's part prog rock, part surf and part psychedelic. As it approaches the three and a half minute mark it drops back to a mellower movement that really showcases the progressive rock tendencies. It builds back out from there with a rather soaring, powerful arrangement.
The Garden
I can make out plenty of modern prog elements here, but it's delivered in a style that seems well rooted in classic textures. To some degree I'm reminded of Pink Floyd quite a bit on this number. It's a melodic tune that's very cool. It drops to a rather symphonic treatment later in the piece. As it rises back upward it is particularly lush and powerful. We get some killer melodic guitar work, and flute adds a lot to the mix.
A Peaceful Transition
Rather intricate and trippy, this rises up gradually. For some reason it makes me think of what you might get if you merged California Guitar Trio with Synergy and Tangerine Dream.
Another World
Piano figures prominently as the title track opens. It works upward gradually as it sets up a cool groove. There is a lot of fusion built into this number. I really dig some of the melodic guitar soloing that ensues as it shifts more toward a rock focus.
Pole to Pole
A cool electronic groove starts this feeling a bit like Kraftwerk. As the guitar rises upward it brings a bit of The Ventures and Dick Dale to the proceedings. The cut moves forward with the arrangement becoming lusher. It drops back down around the two minute mark to percussion and electronics. Then the guitar rejoins and we're back into the rock jams.
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