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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Martin Turner

The Beauty of Chaos: Live At the Citadel

Review by Gary Hill

Martin Turner is perhaps best known as having been part of Wishbone Ash. In fact, if you'll notice the cover of this actually says "Martin Turner ex Wishbone Ash." Well, we've covered him before just under "Martin Turner," so we're leaving that second part off of this. This new live album is classy. First, the performance (on two CDs) is a strong show and captured well for CD release. They also include a video of the whole concert, though (along with a fairly extensive interview) on DVD.  A big chunk of this show features an entire solo album from Turner played in sequence. In addition to that, they also make their way through a number of Wishbone Ash classics. This is a strong performance and well worth getting, particularly with such a classy package.

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Track by Track Review
The Big Bang (Overture)

Trippy atmospheric space styled music opens the show. This is a fairly short instrumental introduction.

The Beauty of Chaos
This comes out of the previous number bringing a rock texture as the guitar creates textures of sound. It grows outward from there to a proggier (but still guitar focused) jam. I really love some of the bass work on this thing. There are some non-lyrical vocals, but otherwise this is an instrumental that really has some killer guitar work.
Written in the Stars
Coming in with a hard rocking prog jam, this works out to something that's more melodic and space rock oriented for the entrance of the vocals. This is a killer tune that has some great instrumental work and is just plain cool.
More of a retro rock tinged piece, this is good, but I don't like it as much as I do the stuff that come before it.
Vapour Trail
This has a harder rocking, dramatic edge to it. It's also proggier than the last one was. This a soaring kind of tune that's very cool. As you might imagine this has some killer guitar work.
The Lonely Star
For some reason I'm reminded of Uli Roth's early work with the mellower side of Scorpions music on this. There is really some particularly tasty guitar work on this number. It's more or less an instrumental, but there is a woman's voice that whispers the title at one point along the road.
For My Lady
While by this point you expect a guitar workout and every song (and you won't be disappointed here), that's not the only attraction to this song. It has some hard rocking and proggy elements at play. They even manage to include some solid hooks.
Falling Sands
Another hard rocking proggy tune, this one works really well. Then again, so does just about everything here. It's a smoking hot live performance.
Pretty Little Girls
More of a mainstream rock tune, this one isn't the proggiest thing here. It also doesn't work as well for me as some of the rest of the music does.
Mystify Me
I really dig the intricacies of the guitar work on this tune. While that guitar really shines, it is a strong and well-developed song, not an excuse for a showing off guitar skills. There are some hints of blues elements on this number, but it's really a prog cut overall.
Interstellar Rockstar
Trippy, spacey mellow prog rock opens this. The cut grows out with that in control. This is so classy. It works out to more rocking stuff later, but remains slow and rather moody. There is some exceptional guitar work on this one.
The Pilgrim
Bass starts this classic Wishbone Ash number, and the track works out gradually with the guitar coming in over the top weaving lines of sound. This continues to evolve and really fires upward around the three and a half minute mark. Then it explodes out into a hard rocking jam. They take this through a number of shifts. There are some non-lyrical vocals at one point, but it's an instrumental beyond that. This has a lot of different flavors and some killer jamming built into it.
Lady Jay
Coming in mellow and quite classy, this gradually works upward. There is a real folk music basis to this, but with an electrified prog delivery, essentially branding it as folk prog.
Blind Eye
This is much more of a straight-ahead rock and roller, but there are some twists along the road.
The King Will Come
Some intricate and soaring guitar soloing starts this, but it works out to more of a folk prog jam from there. It builds upward as they continue. The vocals come in around the two minute mark bringing this into some accessible territory. I love the main guitar riff that shows up between verses. This works tastefully between different movements and makes its way to an extended instrumental exploration later. It's a killer tune and a great live rendition.
I really love the balance between the mellower and the more rocking stuff on this killer Wishbone Ash song. The guitar work is impeccable, but you wouldn't expect anything less. This is another killer live rendition of a great song.
Throw Down the Sword
Killer guitar based jamming opens this Wishbone Ash classic. It makes its way through the extended opening instrumental movement. Then it drops back to a mellower segment for the entrance of the vocals.
Sometime World
A bit more of a melodic rocker, this has a great vocal arrangement. There are definitely folk prog elements at play here. I love the fast paced prog jam that emerges further down the line. The non-lyrical vocals are classy, but just listen to that awesome bass line. There is some killer guitar soloing further down this musical road.
Coming in with a tasty kind of jam, this is cool stuff. It has some intriguing changes and twists. There are some killer movements to this instrumental. It also has some decidedly inspired guitar soloing. It's really one heck of a powerhouse jam.
You See Red
This is more of a straight-ahead rocker. Still, the vocal parts are more stripped back and melodic. The extended instrumental section is on fire.
Living Proof
Another powerhouse rocker, this is great stuff. It's a solid rocker delivered in style. 
Blowin' Free
This Wishbone Ash tune is a classic, and it gets a killer live telling here. This has some killer almost southern rock styled guitar soloing.

A fast paced progressive rock powerhouse, this thing is so cool. It's a great live performance, too. There is some killer guitar dueling later in the track.

A hard rocker, this is a strong tune. It's a blues rock styled jam that isn't the most unique thing here. Still, it rocks and has some killer guitar work. There is an extended stage banter section in this cut that focuses on introduction of the band members, but goes much further than that.



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