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December 2021 - Issue 151
Progressive Rock CD Reviews
Anyone - In Humanity
Review by Gary Hill
This is basically a one-man band at this point, and that man is Riz Story. I'm not sure if that's always been the case with this act or not, but it is now.
Appice Perdomo Project - Energy Overload
Review by Gary Hill
The two people who are named in the artist name here are frequently reviewed at Music Street Journal
Ascension of the Watchers - Apocrypha / Translations
Review by Gary Hill
This is an unusual set.
Barclay James Harvest - Time Honoured Ghosts - Expanded & Remastered 1CD/1DVD
Review by Gary Hill
Here we have an interesting release of Barclay James Harvest's sixth studio album. The CD has a bonus track, and the whole thing sounds great.
Blackmore's Night - Winter Carols 2021 Edition
Review by Gary Hill
I previously reviewed an edition of this album that came out in 2017. They have released this new version with a few new songs added.
Lena Bloch & Feathery - Rose Of Lifta
Review by Gary Hill
At MSJ we put fusion under progressive rock. It just seems to fit. So, the question becomes "what is fusion?"
Burnt Belief - Mutual Isolation
Review by Gary Hill
This new release from Burnt Belief is all class. Like the previous one I reviewed, it's fully instrumental.
Chrome - Scaropy
Review by Gary Hill
Chrome is one of those acts that aren't an obvious fit under progressive rock. That said, they have a real artsy edge to everything they do.
Giancarlo Erra - Departure Tapes
Review by Gary Hill
The music here is at once familiar and alien. There is a synthetic quality to it, but also a very human one.
Fires of Denmark - Relativity
Review by Gary Hill
This is an unusual and intriguing album. I've landed it under progressive rock, but don't expect classic prog here.
Daniel Gauthier - Altitude 16425
Review by Gary Hill
Over the course of reviewing three different albums from Daniel Gauthier, I've come to the conclusion that there is one constant to his work.
Daniel Gauthier - Someone
Review by Gary Hill
This is the second album I've reviewed from Daniel Gauthier (with one other review also going to run in this issue being the third).
Jon Gordon - Stranger Than Fiction
Review by Gary Hill
This is one of those releases that sort of skirts the line between fusion and more mainstream jazz.
Hawkestrel - SpaceXmas
Review by Gary Hill
This was released last year, but I got it too late to review it in our December issue. So, I've been holding it until this one.
Hawkwind - Somnia
Review by Gary Hill
I have to confess to being a Hawkwind fanatic. They are one of my three favorite acts, and I have so many albums from them.
Percy Jones, Alex Skolnick, Kenny Grohowski, Tim Motzer - PAKT
Review by Gary Hill
I have to say that there seems to be some confusion about the name of this act. I've seen it listed with the group name the same as the album title.
Darrell Katz & OddSong - Galeanthropology
Review by Gary Hill
Oddsong is a chamber ensemble led by Darrell Katz. Katz is the director of Jazz Composers Alliance, which I've covered in the past.
Tony Kaye - End Of Innocence
Review by Gary Hill
Tony Kaye is probably best-known as the original (and later returning) keyboardist for Yes. He's actually done quite a few other musical projects over the years, though.
Magnum - Chase The Dragon
Review by John Pierpoint
Magnum’s third album was a breakthrough of sorts.
Magnum - On A Storyteller’s Night
Review by John Pierpoint
For many fans, this 1985 offering is Magnum’s greatest album.
Rob Massard - Thousand River Sun
Review by Gary Hill
I'm sure most of you are familiar with folk prog.
Marco Mattei - Out Of Control
Review by Gary Hill
This is an unusual release. Parts of it are full-on progressive rock.
Cameron Mizell & Charlie Rauh - Local Folklore
Review by Gary Hill
I can definitely see people arguing with this landing under progressive rock. The thing is, prog is a rather expansive heading to me.
Mobius Strip - Time Lag
Review by Gary Hill
This is the second release from Mobius Strip.
Steffie Moonlady and Dennis Haklar - To the Universe
Review by Gary Hill
The music on this album is unique. There is an ancient quality to it, but it's also modern.
Nektar - ...Sounds Like Swiss
Review by Gary Hill
This new two CD one DVD set includes live recordings from Nektar. All of this dates from 1973 and was recorded in Sweden, but it comes from at least a couple different shows.
Nektar - The Other Side: Deluxe CD/DVD Edition
Review by Gary Hill
This new edition of Nektar's 2020 release is all class. It's a two-disc set. 
Octarine Sky - Close to Nearby
Review by Gary Hill

This group is a spin-off of the band Potter's Daughter.

Chuck Owen and the Jazz Surge - Within Us: Celebrating 25 Years Of The Jazz Surge
Review by Gary Hill
I could see this landing under non-prog as jazz. I'd argue, though, that the brand of jazz here really seems more like fusion.
L. Shankar - Christmas From India
Review by Gary Hill
I previously reviewed another disc from L. Shankar. His double violin is unique as instrument, and his playing is equally intriguing and unusual.
Asaf Sirkis - Solar Flash
Review by Gary Hill
This new album from percussionist Asaf Sirkis is a cool exercise in fusion. There is a good range here, and some positively exceptional pieces.
The Syn - Flowerman – Rare Blooms From The Syn
Review by Gary Hill
This is an interesting release. If you own the 2005 Syn album Original Syn, which is out of print now, you already have these songs.
Rick Wakeman - Christmas Variations
Review by Gary Hill
This is a reissue of an older Rick Wakeman album (from 2000). This edition, released in 2020, has two bonus tracks and a different cover.
Jim Yanda - A Silent Way
Review by Gary Hill
If you like freeform, odd music, this is probably perfect for you. I've never heard anything quite like it.
Metal/Prog Metal CD Reviews
Dos Cobros - Misadventures in Dystopia
Review by Gary Hill
When I reviewed a previous set from this act, I landed it under heavy metal, but said that with the amount of punk in the mix, it could almost have fit under non-prog.
Lynch Mob - The Elektra Years 1990-1992
Review by Gary Hill
I have to admit that by the time George Lynch had parted ways with Dokken and formed Lynch Mob, my tolerance for 80s metal...
Blake Red - The Cradle
Review by Gary Hill
This artist is based somewhat near me, in the Chicago area.
Scream 3 Days - Rhesus Negative
Review by Gary Hill
This band is described as melodic death metal. Well, I have to say that whatever you call them, they rock.
Vandenberg - Complete Atco Recordings 1982-2004
Review by Gary Hill
I was never completely sold on 80s metal. To me it was largely not what I consider to be heavy metal.
Watchtower - Control & Resistance
Review by Gary Hill
While this album was originally released in 1989, this is a brand new reissue of it. If you've never heard this band, you have probably never heard anything quite like this.
Non-Prog CD Reviews
Carrier - When New York Is Drowning
Review by Gary Hill
If this act landed just a little more on the post-punk, shoegaze end of the spectrum, I would have probably put them under progressive rock.
Diana DeMuth - Misadventure
Review by Gary Hill
This album captures an artist really doing a great job plying her craft. Her music is of the singer-songwriter variety.
Dizzy Box Nine - Last Call Before the Fall
Review by Gary Hill
I reviewed a previous album from this act and said that I had some problems with a monolithic sound to the disc and some songs that seemed a bit awkward.
Falkner Evans - Invisible Words
Review by Gary Hill
This is an album of solo piano works. I guess it's considered jazz, but I only get a minor jazz vibe from it.
Foghat - 8 Days On The Road
Review by Gary Hill
This set captures a show from November 2019 at Daryl Hall's Daryl's House Club. Foghat is one of those quintessential 70s bluesy rock bands, and you really can't go wrong with their music.
Roger Street Friedman - Rise
Review by Gary Hill
There is a real genuine vibe to this album. The musical concepts are not all that unique.
Stephen Jacques - Soul Hydraulics
Review by Gary Hill
When I reviewed a previous album from Stephen Jacques I said that I had a problem with the vocals on many of the songs.
Russell James - Feel Your Pain
Review by Gary Hill
This is a particularly effective disc.
Shaun Johnson + Big Band Experience - Made For Her
Review by Gary Hill
When you hear the term "big band" you think of an old-school sound. Well, this release shows a modern spin on that sort of concept.
Mark Joseph - Vegas Motel
Review by Gary Hill
The blend of sounds on this set is unique. There is plenty of roots music here, but quite a bit of range to it.
Solomon King & the Chosen - No. 5
Review by Gary Hill
Solomon King and his band have given us a set that pays tribute to a lot of classic music, while also updating it.
Locate Your Lips - For Kenny
Review by Gary Hill
This might not be a familiar name for you, but Locate Your Lips were apparently well-known in their hometown of Milwaukee in the 1980s.
Damon Mitchell - Like You're In A Dream
Review by Gary Hill
Ohio-based songwriter and musician Damon Mitchell has released a fine album with Like You're In A Dream.
Moors & McCumber - Survival
Review by Gary Hill
I previously reviewed another set from this act. That was a strong album, and this continues that trend.
The Orange Goodness - Flying Under the Radar of Chaos
Review by Gary Hill
This EP has a sound that seems to often land near power-pop.
Willard Overstreet and The Highborn Kinsmen - All We Are
Review by Gary Hill
This group is a rock band. They don't try for any big titles beyond that.
John Renbourn Group - A Maid In Bremen Live At Roemer, Bremen Feb. 14th 1978
Review by Gary Hill
John Renbourn was probably best known as part of the band Pentangle. I know a lot of people consider that group to be progressive rock, and I suppose progressive folk might apply.
Jon Arthur Schmidt - From the Marrow
Review by Gary Hill
A Minneapolis based musician, Jon Arthur Schmidt has created a classy set of tunes here.
The Sweater Set - Fly On The Wall
Review by Gary Hill
If you like folk music with great female harmonies (and who doesn't, really?), this set should be for you.
Rob Tognoni - Catfish Cake
Review by Gary Hill
If you like blues based rock with killer guitar work, this album might just be the prescription you need.
Robin Tucker - The Way Out
Review by Gary Hill
This new album from Atlanta based artist Robin Tucker has some strong music. It fits somewhere in the zone around modern pop rock, nu-metal and more.
Various Artists - Blue Moon Keep on Shining: 12 Rockers from the Blue Moon and Bella Vaults (vinyl)
Review by Gary Hill
This new release from Bear Family is a 10-inch, 45 RPM vinyl record. The vinyl is stunning, sort of a yellow, green color.
Various Artists - Here Comes Santa Claus - 14 Swingin' Chestnuts (red vinyl)
Review by Gary Hill
I know I rave about Bear Family Records and how great their products are a lot. The thing is, they deserve it.
Various Artists - There's Trouble Brewin' - 16 Serious Rockin' Crackers for your Christmas Hop (green vinyl)
Review by Gary Hill
Bear Family is such a class act. They put out a lot of great retro releases.
West of Corey - Big Ass Deal
Review by Gary Hill
This new EP features three songs that are all just about perfect.
DVD/Video Reviews
Asia - Classic Rock Legends DVD
Review by Greg Olma
Asia has had many line-ups throughout their long career as part of having more than two-dozen musicians pass through their ranks. 
Ian Gillan - Classic Rock Legends DVD
Review by Greg Olma
Ian Gillan is thought of as the voice of Deep Purple, but he has had quite an extensive career that consists of albums under his own name and the band Gillan. 
Nitzinger - Live At Rockpalast 2001 DVD/CD Set
Review by Gary Hill
John Nitzinger might be one of the best known musicians you've never heard of. In addition to his solo work, he was part of the band Bloodrock and wrote many of their songs.
Queen - A Night At The Odeon DVD
Review by Greg Olma
Queen has gone through a number of musical changes, but their earlier material was definitely prog influenced. They never shied away from experimenting which created a sound that was uniquely their own. 
Book Reviews
Various Artists - Directions to the Outskirts of Town: Punk Rock Tour Diaries written by Welly Artcore
Review by Gary Hill
At the start of this, let me just say that the book lands under "Various Artists" because it focuses on two specific tours of two different bands, but it's largely about a scene more than it is completely a music book.
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