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Metal/Prog Metal CD Reviews


Long Ago Tomorrow

Review by Gary Hill

This band is a hard one to pin down in terms of style. When I reviewed a previous disc a few years ago, I landed them under progressive rock. There are some songs here that fit with that genre. Overall, I'd say that this is probably more metal than anything else, though. Even so, not every song here qualifies. This set is effective, varied and strong. Fans of different types of music should find something to enjoy.

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Track by Track Review
Keep Standing Like a Rock
Keyboards bring the album into being, rising up dramatically. After a bit some killer guitar rises up, threatening to take control. The track works out with a killer AOR metal edge from there. This is a straight-ahead stomper that's driving and so cool.
Going Fishing
There is some mainstream hard rock built into this thing, but it's all delivered with a real metal edge. This is anthemic and quite cool. There is some violin in the instrumental section here, trading riffs with the guitar.
Cross the Borderline
Acoustic guitar opens this. The cut works out into some of a balladic jam before the crunch takes control. When it drops down for the verse, it's obvious that this is more or less a power ballad. It makes good use of the balance between mellower and more rocking territory. This cut is rather complex. It leans toward prog. I love the intricate guitar soloing later, and particularly the way they pair the clean and distorted sounds.
Long Ago Tomorrow
The guitar sound on this is so cool. There is soaring metal driving concept behind this piece. It has a dramatic, epic quality to it. The dropped back movement later brings some hints of prog rock. It has some prominent bass work. They fire out into a fast paced jam that's incredibly cool from there. The bass really shines and that section pretty much qualifies as progressive rock. We get some more cool violin work as this instrumental movement extends outward. As the vocals return I'm reminded of Blue Oyster Cult.
Haunted House

Coming in with weird sounds that call to mind throat singing, this grows outward in dramatic, proggy fashion. The metallic driving edge joins after a bit. It still has some proggy tendencies. There are things about this that make me think of a more metallic version of the Ronnie James Dio era of Rainbow. This is just so cool. It's my favorite tune of the set. This has some more proggier textures later, more as an epic prog metal concept.

Edge of the Knife

Melodic rock is the concept here. There are even some hints of David Bowie. I don't think I'd really consider this one metal. I'm reminded of Mott the Hoople a bit on this cut. It gets more rocking as it moves forward, but never really feels like heavy metal.

Windy City
Killer riff driven hard rock, this one does qualify as metal in a lot of ways. It has a lot in common with the 80s form of that genre. Still, I could see this getting called just plain hard rock, too. That might be the more accurate label. Whatever you call it, though, the sound is classic, and the song works well.
What a Life
Acoustic guitar brings this into being in balladic fashion. Electric comes over the top of the arrangement as it moves forward. There is a decidedly prog element to this. The symphonic strings that show up as icing on the musical cake add to that. Still, I'd consider this a metal ballad. This has more of those Mott the Hoople hints. It also makes me think of The Syn just a bit. It's a killer number that has a lot of progressive rock in the mix.
Lost in America

Now, this one still has a metallic edge, but in a lot of ways qualifies as progressive rock. I can make out more of those Syn references here. This is rather a powerhouse jam in a lot of ways. It grows out in nice fashion. That metal edge really does dominate in a lot of ways. The cut turns to some decidedly 70s stuff in the extended instrumental section. It gets very proggy, and even hints at disco a bit.

Sunday Cake
The Syn references are valid on this cut, too. This is another that lands more in the balladic zone. This one probably doesn't qualify as metal at all, but it's not outside the zone of metal ballad. I dig the piano on the piece, and the whole thing works well.
Fallen Dreams
A harder rocking number, this has a melodic concept. Still, it's driving, hard-edged and very cool. It's a classy tune and a great way to end things in style..
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Metal/Prog Metal
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