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Progressive Rock CD Reviews


Designed For Disaster

Review by Gary Hill

I previously reviewed another set by this band. That one was a fully instrumental album. This disc features vocals (mostly of the female variety) on several songs, while a number of tunes remain sans voice. I mentioned that a lot of that other album called to mind California Guitar Trio, but with a harder edge. That is still a valid reference here a lot of the time, but this really does expand the palette quite a bit. Whatever you call this, it's unique and intriguing modern progressive rock.

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Track by Track Review
Jabbing bits of sound bring this into being. That holds the number through the introduction, but it explodes out after a time into some powerhouse progressive rock. The cut takes on some seriously artsy angles and works through some unusual twists and turns.
Collision Course
Synthesizer brings this in. The cut explodes to powerhouse jamming from there. It works out to some stuff that calls to mind modern King Crimson as it marches forward. This gets pretty insane at times. This instrumental piece is quite an amazing number.
A chiming sound starts this and brings it into being. The track gradually builds out from there before a heavy, almost metallic, but very Crimsonian sound takes control. This is another classy instrumental.
Interlude - Golem
This short instrumental is rather noisy and rocking. It's also very cool.
The vocals on this, and the general musical concept, demand comparisons to extreme metal. This is driving, heavy and really crazed. It's also still somewhat Crimson-like. The track turns to a more melodic and decidedly prog based thing late. That part works without vocals, and gradually begins to intensify as it does. Some vocals and pounding join after a time, though. They don't stay around long, though, as the cut ends on that vision.      
Flower You
Melodic guitar brings this number into being. The track evolves gradually from there with a rather mysterious vibe. Gentle vocals come in over the top, lending more the art rock vibe we heard on the opening piece.
This instrumental is darker and heavier and works with more that King Crimson sort of thing. It's a powerhouse. .
Interlude - Echo
This instrumental has some great melodic exploration built into it. It's another classy piece.          
The bulk of this track makes me think of what you might get if you merged Curved Air with modern King Crimson. The instrumental section later in the piece gets heavier and more purely KC-like, but it still has plenty of unique textures and elements at play, too.
La Voie Du Mensonge
There is some cool echoey, twangy guitar texture on this number. .This is quite a dramatic instrumental piece as it gets fully underway. The twangy things bring hints of Americana, but overall this is more like a heavy King Crimson styled jam. It's another powerhouse.
Interlude - D├ęcombres
With circulation styled guitar, this makes me think of a blending of King Crimson and California Guitar Trio in some ways. There is a lot of drama and style built into this, and it gets pretty involved as it continues.
Despite Origins
There is quite a bit of this that has a real chant-like quality to the vocals, reminding me a little of some of the stuff on Yes' Tales from Topographic Oceans album. The cut has a great building intensity. The number has some cool changes and intricate instrumental progressions in place.
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