Artists | Issues | CD Reviews | Interviews | Concert Reviews | DVD/Video Reviews | Book Reviews | Who We Are | Staff | Home
Progressive Rock CD Reviews

The Universe By Ear


Review by Gary Hill

I really like the blend of sounds on this album from Swiss act The Universe by Ear. The mix of psychedelia with stoner metal, progressive rock, space rock and more really lands very much in my sonic sandbox. I don't think there are any weak tracks here, and it never feels samey at all. This is just an unusual and particularly effective slab of inventive art rock music.

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) form in Music Street Journal: 2023  Volume 1. More information and purchase links can be found at:

Track by Track Review
Sail Around The Sun
At nearly 12 minutes of music, the opener is the epic of the set. It comes in heavy, doomy and noisy. After the introduction it drops to a more melodic concept that has plenty of old-school psychedelia in it. Mid-track there is a killer excursion into more pure prog zones, but it's still informed by psychedelic music in a big way. That psychedelic angle really takes control for a time later, but there are also hints of doom metal that creep in. Still, it eventually resolves out to more pure progressive rock after a time. We're eventually taken out to a new psychedelic rock vocal movement from the next vocals. There is another excursion into stoner metal zones for a time further down the road before it resolves into more mainstream psychedelic leaning prog. That mode eventually takes the track out.
Something In The Water
The shifts and changes as this gets going are decidedly progressive rock, but there is a bit of a metal edge to the introduction. It drops down toward more spacey sounds, but there is a definite King Crimson-like vibe in place, too.  By the time we get to the vocal section, the track has turned to more killer psychedelic prog. It's melodic, but also fast-paced. We're taken through a number of changes along this road. It turns almost spooky in its spacey, psychedelic vibes later. We're taken back into more killer psychedelic prog from there.
Two Hour Drive
A little more of a mainstream rocker of the psychedelic variety, this gets into some pretty intriguing instrumental territory at times. There are some proggy elements that come into it. A droning section takes over late and really makes me think of early Pink Floyd.
Lie Alone
I love the rocking groove as this gets underway. The bass sound is so classy. There is definitely an early Floyd vibe as the vocals join. This glides through a number of different sections, really showcasing a cool space rock meets psychedelia and prog vibe. The riff driven instrumental section later really makes me think of King Crimson at times.
Salty River (Incl. Monoliths)
This starts with an acapella section. it works out from there to some of the most decidedly progressive rock oriented stuff of the whole album. That said, there is still plenty of psychedelia in place, and we also get more of that early Pink Floyd vibe.


More CD Reviews
Metal/Prog Metal
Progressive Rock

   Creative Commons License
   This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.

    © 2024 Music Street Journal                                                                           Site design and programming by Studio Fyra, Inc./