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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Jason Blake

Fictional Mirrors

Review by Gary Hill

I've covered Jason Blake previously as part of the band Aziola Cry. In fact, I reviewed their most recent disc in the last issue of MSJ. This is one of two solo albums from him that I'm covering this time around. This music is largely ambient, but it is never dull or lifeless. It is dramatic, if soundtrack-like. It never feels tired or redundant, either. It is a different flavor from Aziola Cry, but also feels connected to that sound.

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Track by Track Review
Shortcomings in Opposition
Atmospheric textures bring this into being. The cut works outward with dramatic layers of sound creating a texture that feels spacey, symphonic and rather soundtrack like. There is a real sense of mystery at play. Noisy guitar rises up later, but it's sort of part of the soundscape, rather than standing out. It brings a bit of a shoegaze styled prog element to things.
The Criterion of Guilt
While not a huge change, this sonic tapestry is not a carbon copy of the previous one. It has more of that atmospheric sea of sound approach. This gets fairly driving and intense before it's over and done.
Fictional Mirrors
I love the moody, dreamy texture that brings this into being. There are some pretty cool melodies here. The whole tone is not far removed from the tracks that preceded it, but the cut does have its own character.
A Disposition to Virtue
There is a bit more energy here, and the bass sound seems to drive this a little more. I'm reminded a bit of Tangerine Dream on this cut. There are parts of this later that call to mind Pink Floyd's Meddle album to some degree.
Ethos of the Swarm
Noisier and dramatic, waves of distorted sound create an intriguing sonic tapestry for this number.
Antecedents and Consequences
Cool atmospherics that seem to combine space music with an almost symphonic element are on the menu here. At just over 13-minutes, this is the epic of the set. This turns harder rocking later. While it doesn't really rise to the level of full hard rock, it's not far from it and as close as we get here.
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