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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Paul Maged

Fight to the Death

Review by Gary Hill

I've reviewed quite a few releases from Paul Maged so far. He always manages to deliver. This new EP is no exception. Everything here is effective. It has a good range, too. This is a fine addition to his catalog. It should be noted that I previously reviewed the song "The Resistance" as a digital single. For the sake of consistency, the track review here comes from that review.

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Track by Track Review
Fight To The Death
This opens with a bit of a psychedelia meets punk riff. As it works out from there it shifts to more of a metallic punk rocking jam. This is so classy. High energy and effective, it makes for a great opener.
Life Goes By
The clean guitar that leads this out of the gate brings a real classic rock vibe to things. As the arrangement fills out and the vocals join, this becomes more of a modern alternative rocker. It has some catchy hooks and great grooves. It's entertaining and energized.
The sounds of footsteps echoing open this. Then a creepy female voice says, "hello, darling." The title of this makes me think of the old horror TV series featuring Carl Kolchak as the main character. The tune powers out with some hard-edged music that has some punk along with alternative rock and a metal edge. This is classy stuff that's oddly catchy. A jam later has a female spoken vocal over the top. That section even has some prog tendencies to it.
Off In The Distance
Piano brings this into being. As the vocals join this has a real mainstream 1970s rock feeling to it. The arrangement fills out as it moves forward, but the general musical concept is largely unchanged. It wouldn't be a big stretch to imagine hearing this on the radio in 70s. There are some proggy elements at play here at times.
The Resistance
Starting with drums, the guitar brings a hard edged sound that's part metal and part punk. The vocals come in bringing it more into punky alternative rock texture. The lyrics are topical. There is a bit of a DIY edge to this, but it's also solid and rather catchy. It gets a parental advisory on the lyrics. The guitar solo is both meaty and tasty. This song is packed with anger and power.
Illusions Go By
Piano opens this. As the vocals come over the top, the track takes on a creative, artsy vibe. A spoken female vocal joins, adding to that concept. As the number works out from there it really resembles a progressive rock kind of thing. At less than a minute-and-a-half, this is quite brief. It's an interesting, if unusual way to end the set. It feels more like a cliff-hanger than a closing.


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