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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Staring into Nothing


Review by Gary Hill

The sound this California band produces is melodic rock. There is plenty of modern AOR styled prog in that tapestry, though. This new release showcases a nice mix of sounds that never feels redundant or tired. It's a safe bet that this alternative rock leaning motif won't appeal to a lot of prog purists, but listeners more open to different things, will find a lot to enjoy here.

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Track by Track Review
A fairly mellow and melodic arrangement brings this into being. It's not quite soft rock, but it's definitely not hard-edged. The vocals join, and as the cut continues some cool guitar dances over the top. The number shifts to a rather soaring melodic prog approach for the chorus. I love the piano soloing bit that comes in over the top. This is a rather moody and quite magical piece of music.
Coming in with a more energized approach and AOR prog approach guides the introduction. That said, it's tempered with a bit of alternative rock. The cut shifts to a different arrangement for the entrance of the vocals. A catchy alternative rock meets prog approach is on hand here. There are some hints of psychedelia in the mix, too.
I like the little chiming jabs in the mix here. There are some horns in the arrangement of this tune at times. An alternative pop edge is definitely present among the modern prog concept. There are some decidedly jazzy moments along the ride.
A harder rocking and more energized cut, this has plenty of prog rock in the mix. .It's a classy tune, but not a big change.
The Thin Line
While this is still energized, it's a bit less hard rocking than the last tune. There are some great little bits of progginess here and there. I love the keyboard sounds on the tune. My one complaint is that the vocals seem just a little over-processed at times here. I love the guitar sound on this thing.
Beautiful Delusion
On the one hand this isn't a huge change. On the other hand, it has some of the strongest instrumental work of the whole disc. That is expressed by the killer bass playing. The piano also stands tall. Don't forget that killer guitar solo. This is a melodic modern prog styled piece. It has some cool changes and somehow shines as one of the strongest tunes of the whole set. There is a shift to a faster paced jam later in the number that is arguably the real shining moment of this disc.
Only Love
This has more of a psychedelic pop prog kind of vibe to it. It has some great hooks and is quite entertaining and effective. When horns join later, for some reason it makes me think of The Beatles a bit.
The Ties That Bind
A bit harder rocking, but also tastefully proggy, this is all class. It has some cool hooks and intriguing changes. The tune is accessible and yet meaty.
Find Our Way Back
Punchy and catchy, this still has enough proggy elements to keep it in that zone. There are some decidedly soaring moments here. Some of those moments later include female vocals.
To All
An ambient texture opens this. The cut works out in a slow moving arrangement from there. The tune makes its way through with style and works out to a spacey section at the end.
There are some hints of Rush on this to me. The cut is one of the most decidedly proggy things here. It has some killer shifts and changes. It's a highlight of the set. The smoking hot closing section is another of the strongest bits here. I particularly love the killer guitar explorations on that extended movement.
Amazing Grace
This is a melodic piece that has some dreamy and soaring sections. It's a grounding sort of number, making for a solid closer.
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