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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Seven Crows

Secrets Of Navigation

Review by Gary Hill

Here is one that is perhaps not a tight fit under progressive rock. That said, the intriguing blend of instrumental world music with classical, rock and more is decidedly progressive. Whether you agree with the classification or not, this violin-heavy release is quite satisfying. This just works so well at bringing an almost organic psychedelic prog vibe throughout. I highly recommend this to fans of mellower instrumental music.

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Track by Track Review
There is an old world vibe to this. It makes me think of open plains and Native American elements. Yet, there is also an electronic, trippy sort of feeling and sound. This is mid-tempo, fairly subdued and quite effective. It creates some great sonic tapestries. The violin work later in the number brings some real emotion and magic.

This has a bit more of a rock music vibe, but it's still well set in world music and other zones. There is a driving energy and growth here. Yet, the beauty and majesty remain, as well. This feels like a traveling type of music in a lot of ways. I can make out a sense of realization later in the cut, too.

Secrets Of Navigation

Rising up gradually, the title track really evolves slowly and organically. There is an ambient vibe to it. It's not the most dynamic cut here, but it is quite effective.

Last Letter To Orson Welles

This feels more closely related to the opening piece than to the one that directly precedes it. The violin really paints some great pictures on this track.

Two Swords
This is one of the most dramatic and effective pieces here. It is intricate and has a real rocking angle to it. There is psychedelia and space rock added to the mix of sounds we've heard throughout the set. The electric guitar really brings something special. This is slow moving, but so powerful. It has a real forceful element, but also a gentle beauty. This is quite probably my favorite composition of the whole disc, and worth the price of admission all by itself.
Night Song
The rhythmic groove here works well. The melodies created by the instruments dance over the top. There is an almost trance kind of vibe to the backdrop here. This is suitably trippy and yet soars, as well.
Black Ash
Gentle and intricate elements are counterpointed by a slow, but rather noisy sound over the top. This creates a real space rock feeling, but tempered with world music. The violin tells some intriguing stories over the top of the arrangement.
Ancient Ways
Not a big change, the trippy world music concepts on this work really well. I love some of the violin melodies.


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