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April 2017 - Issue 123
Progressive Rock CD Reviews
Ape Shifter - Ape Shifter
Review by Gary Hill
The boundaries of what is and isn't prog are always changing. They are also very subjective.
Richard Barbieri - Planets + Persona
Review by Gary Hill
Richard Barbieri is best known for his work with Porcupine Tree. This is his new solo album.
Blonde on Blonde - Rebirth
Review by Gary Hill
There was a time when progressive rock sort of emerged from psychedelic rock. In the early days, the two shared a lot of territory.
Blonde on Blonde - Reflections on a Life
Review by Gary Hill
This is one of two reissues I'm reviewing in this issue from this band. Of the two, I think I like this one better.
Roland Buehlmann - Bailenas
Review by Gary Hill
This new album from Roland Buehlmann continues the trend of his previous release. It's truly a solo effort.
Carptree - Emerger
Review by Gary Hill
This is an intriguing disc. It has some moments that are incredible.
Deep Space Destructors - Psychedelogy
Review by Gary Hill
Sometimes space rock sacrifices the rock part of the equation for the space. That's definitely not the case here.
Dugo - Lingua Franca
Review by Gary Hill
This album could land in the territory of electronic music. It seems a bit too organic for that, though.
Gandalf - Journey to an Imaginary Land
Review by Gary Hill
This disc could be put under New Age. It's pretty and quite mellow.
Andrew Goldring - Cosmic Dance (digital single)
Review by Gary Hill
This is a brand new single from Andrew Goldring. I'm always a bit skeptical of singles because a lot of pop music (particularly these days) has a tendency to be over-produced and shallow.
Steve Hackett - and Djabe - Summer Storms and Rocking Rivers
Review by Gary Hill
Those expecting Genesis styled prog rock here are likely to be disappointed. This is much more of a fusion set with some world music built into it.
Hawkwind - The GWR Years 1988-1991
Review by Gary Hill
It's hard for me to pick favorite Hawkwind albums. I mean, I'm a big fan of the band, and I like pretty much all of their albums.
Elmo Karjalainen - Age of Heroes
Review by Gary Hill
I previously reviewed other work from Elmo Karjalainen and liked it. This new album is not a surprise.
King Ropes - Dirt
Review by Gary Hill
Is this progressive rock? Maybe not. Is it progressive rock in the traditional sense? Absolutely not.
Le Seul Élément - Demon
Review by Gary Hill
I don't know if this is progressive rock, but it's clearly progressive music. It's mostly atmospheric and dark, but there are plenty of variants here.
Jon Lord - Before I Forget
Review by Gary Hill
This solo album from Jon Lord has been reissued with some bonus tracks. It's an intriguing album.
Luxury Mane - Lux Running Out
Review by Gary Hill
I'm expecting arguments with landing this under prog rock. It's clearly a form of art rock, though.
The Move - Magnetic Waves of Sound: The Best of
Review by Gary Hill
This is quite a cool release. Even if all you got was the CD, it would be worth having, but that's sort of just the beginning.
Bill Nelson - My Secret Studio (Vol. 1)
Review by Gary Hill
This collection is literally made up of studio sketches. Bill Nelson spent a period of several years working on song ideas for a band he was looking to assemble.
Øresund Space Collective - Dr Space's Alien Planet Trip Vol 1
Review by Gary Hill
I am not positive that this was released under the OSC name because it's not listed as that on the cover.
Richard Pinhas and Barry Cleveland featuring Michael Manring and Celso Alberti - Mu
Review by Gary Hill
This new CD is all instrumental. It has a lot of space rock in the mix.
Presence - Masters and Following
Review by Gary Hill
This double CD set should appeal mostly to fans of Italian prog and those who really enjoy music from the Rock In Opposition music. It clearly has ties to both of those things.
Klaus Schulze - Ballett 3 & 4
Review by Gary Hill
The opening track of this two CD set is massive one hour and fifteen minutes plus cut. It has a blend of classical music, electronic and space sound.
Ryan Summers - F51.01
Review by Gary Hill
This album is being billed as "ambient music." I think that's a disservice to the music here.
Twenty Sixty Six and Then - Reflections on the Future
Review by Gary Hill
I've never heard of these guys before. Given the strength of this set, it's my loss.
Rick Wakeman - & Tony Ashton Present GasTank
Review by Gary Hill
Perhaps this three CD should go under "various artists" instead of "Rick Wakeman." Still, I think Wakeman plays on almost everything here.
Rick Wakeman - The Phantom of the Opera
Review by Gary Hill
I'm a big fan of progressive rock, and especially Yes (and by extension Rick Wakeman). I'm also a fan of horror movies, including the old classic ones.
Yang - The Failure of Words
Review by Gary Hill
There is a whole school of guitar based prog styled around the King Crimson style of music. These guys fit into that category.
Zero Times Everything - Sonic Cinema
Review by Gary Hill
This is very adventurous music. I'm sure it's not the kind of thing that's well-suited for everyone. I really like it a lot, though.
Metal/Prog Metal CD Reviews
Bellathrix - Orion
Review by Gary Hill
This is a female fronted metal band. That said, they also have some strong folk stylings and even work into some prog territory.
Judas Priest - Turbo 30
Review by Gary Hill
This brand new 30th Anniversary edition of Turbo is classy stuff. Sure, Turbo is arguably the weakest album in Priest's catalog, but this set has the major bonus of a double CD live set.
Lujuria - Rockeando El Pavimento
Review by Gary Hill
I really like this album a lot. This band is from Spain. The majority of the lyrics are in Spanish.

Metallica - Hard Wired...To Self Destruct
Review by Mike Korn
Plagued by over a decade of rather tepid heavy metal, Metallica made a strong push to reclaim some of their glory on their last album “Death Magnetic” and did a reasonable job of it.
Non-Prog CD Reviews
Aerosmith - Get Your Wings
Review by Gary Hill
This was the second Aerosmith album. It seems to me that a lot of people overlook this disc. 
Afroman - Happy to Be Alive
Review by Gary Hill
Some hip hop manages to stand taller than other offerings of the genre. This is such an album.
Jordan Alexander - Take Me Out Tonight (Digital Single)
Review by Gary Hill
This is a brand new single from a new artist Jordan Alexander. This kind of pop music isn't really my forte, but she does it with a more genuine texture than a lot of folks do.
Miller Anderson - Bluesheart / Chameleon
Review by Gary Hill
The new double disc set features two albums from Miller Anderson (along with a few bonus tracks).
Bonomo - Phases
Review by Gary Hill
There are definitely roots music elements at play here. This has a lot of John Mayer built into it, too.
Leah Capelle - Joshua
Review by Gary Hill
I reviewed a previous release from Leah Capelle. I remember that the main thing holding the set together was the voice.
Judy Collins - and Ari Hest - Silver Skies Blue
Review by Gary Hill
Folk music can sometimes feel tired and a bit samey. While I wouldn't call this album "folk" music, it is clearly very folk driven.
Cost of Attrition - There You Go
Review by Gary Hill
This is a good, but not great, set. It shows promise for sure. There are only three songs here and they are all solid alternative rock music.
Derringer - Complete Blue Sky Albums 1976-1978
Review by Gary Hill
By the time Rick Derringer formed the band that went by his last name he quite an impressive history. He had been part of The McCoys when they had their big hit "Hang On Sloopy."
Natalie Estes - 20/20 Vision
Review by Gary Hill
This EP is great. It's more or less modern female fronted pop music, at least as a general heading.
C.K. Flach - Empty Mansions
Review by Gary Hill
This is an intriguing set. It's rather effective and has some songs that are particularly strong. It's not without its problems, though.
The Flashpot Moments - The Flashpot Moments
Review by Gary Hill
This set is quite strong. These guys land in the territory of alternative rock, but there is a lot of pop here.
Freddy Hale - Troublemaker (digital single)
Review by Gary Hill
This new single is intriguing. The music is hard to categorize, really.
Matt Hannah - Dreamland
Review by Gary Hill
There is a lot of folk music here. This has a real singer/songwriter vibe.
The Hounds of Hasselvander - Ancient Rocks
Review by Gary Hill
These guys really have a handle on an old school hard rock sound. There musical mayhem has a lot of metal and hard rock in the mix. 
Humphrey-McKeown - Tapestry of Shadows
Review by Gary Hill
It seems that a lot of people get their music in small, single song dosages these days. That's probably a good thing for this album.
HundredMillionThousand - LP1
Review by Gary Hill
Parts of this are progressive. No, they aren't progressive rock, but they are progressive music.
Mama K and the Shades - Honey Made
Review by Gary Hill
This feels in a lot of ways like it could have come out of the 1970s. The horn-soaked fusion on this disc is classic stuff.
Ryan Lee - Always a River
Review by Gary Hill
There is a lot of roots music built into this. Alternative rock is at its heart, too.
Andriana Lehr - Artifacts
Review by Gary Hill
I like this set quite a bit. It probably lands under folk music more than anything else, but it touches on country, psychelia and things like shoegaze and dream pop, too.
The Livesays - Hold On....He is Calling
Review by Gary Hill
There is some exceptional music here. The sound of this really channels a lot of old school classic rock textures, but at times brings some modern elements to it.
The Magnifiers - For the People
Review by Gary Hill
I suppose the big story here is the lineup of this band. The group is made up of four Chicago siblings ranging in age from 10 to 17.
Gerry Rafferty - Can I Have My Money Back?
Review by Gary Hill
I know Gerry Rafferty was best known for the song "Baker Street." That tune combines jazzy textures along with melodic rock and more.
Roja - The Evil Stands High (digital single)
Review by Gary Hill
This act is described as a mariachi band. I don't think you can hear that at all in this song.
The Rolling Stones - Tattoo You
Review by Gary Hill
The Rolling Stones have been an institution for a long time. It's cool that they are still rocking in the modern era.
Segregates - Burston
Review by Gary Hill
There's no missing the fact that these guys are big Motorhead fans. The title of the album refers to Michael "Wurzel" Burston to whom the album is dedicated.
V² - The Beginning
Review by Gary Hill
I've put off reviewing this for a while. There are a couple reasons.
Binky Womack - Womack Style
Review by Gary Hill
Binky Womack might have lived in the shadow of his more famous uncle Bobby, but he's not lacking in the talent department at all.
DVD/Video Reviews
Champion Jack Dupree - Live At Rockpalast: Cologne 1980 DVD
Review by Gary Hill
This set includes not only the DVD, but a double CD set of the concert.  Jack Dupree was called "Champion Jack Dupree" because he had been a champion boxer.
Michael Schenker - Fest: Live Tokyo International Forum Hall A DVD
Review by Gary Hill
One could say that there are enough Michael Schenker live videos out there, why do we need another? Well, this one is really a chronicle of a special event, meaning that if some are extraneous, this is not.
George Thorogood and the Destroyers - Live at Rockpalast DVD/CD
Review by Gary Hill
This new DVD/CD set includes both the video disc and a double disc audio CD of the show. When you turn anything with George Thorogood on to play, you know what you are going to get.  
Pat Travers - Live At Rockpalast: Cologne 1976 DVD
Review by Gary Hill
I always love it when DVDs include an audio CD of the show. That makes it more versatile. 
Ape Shifter
Interview by Gary Hill
Interview with Jeff Aug of Ape Shifter from 2017
Interview by Gary Hill
Interview with Niclas Flinck of Carptree from 2017
Jean-Luc Ponty
Interview by Gary Hill
Interview with Jean-Luc Ponty from 2017
Interview by Gary Hill
Interview with Frederic L'Epée of Yang from 2017
Zero Times Everything
Interview by Gary Hill
Interview with Zero Times Everything from 2017
Concert Reviews
Neal Morse - The Neal Morse Band - Live in Saint Charles, Illinois, January 2017
Review by Josh Turner
The album, "Similitude to a Dream," is nearly two hours of seamlessly integrated music. The Neal Morse Band played it in its entirety with a single intermission where the discs split.
Book Reviews
Various Artists - Popoff Archive 2: Progressive Rock written by Martin Popoff
Review by Greg Olma
The music world has many characters who work behind the scenes, from producers to engineers to marketing people (and many more). 
Various Artists - Rockin' the City of Angels written by Douglas Harr
Review by Gary Hill
This book is something very special. A good tag-line for this would be "come for the pictures, stay for the stories."
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