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December 2002 - Issue 2
Progressive Rock CD Reviews
Acumen - Diversity
Review by Gary Hill
Acumen is the brainchild of Dimitrious James. Diversity, their third full album, features James with Cyndy Teseniar (vocals), Tim O'Neill (drums), Jared Manker (bass), and Justin Todhunter (guitar).
Agora - Segundo Pasado
Review by Gary Hill
For those of you who think that Latin music is just Shakira, Ricky Martin and El Tigres Del Norte, submit for your approval one Agora. This group, hailing from Mexico is a progressive rock band with a hard edge that really are quite promising. All the vocals and album notes here are in Spanish, but that does not take away from the power of the disc, even if you don't speak the language.
Ray Bennett - Whatever Falls
Review by Gary Hill
Ray Bennett has released what is very close to a masterpiece with this album.
Robert Berry - A Soundtrack To The Wheel of Time
Review by Gary Hill
A Soundtrack To The Wheel of Time is an album created not as a soundtrack to a film, but rather to a series of books. The fantasy books are written by Robert Jordan who has officially endorsed this album.
California Guitar Trio - A Christmas Album
Review by Steve Alspach
There's something to be said for Christmas and tradition. Trimming the tree, eggnog, or whatever else it entails; Christmas is a time to indulge in tradition.
Caravan - Songs for Oblivion Fishermen
Review by Steve Alspach
Caravan was one of the bands to come out of the Canterbury progressive scene of the late 1960s. The band's early output could cause one to roll one's eyes, such as the reference to Boy Scouts as "grumbly grimblies" and the gargling vocals on "In the Land of Grey and Pink."
Joe Deninzon - Adventures in the Stratospheerius
Review by Gary Hill
Released under the name of Joe Deninzon, this album is by the same group who also record under the band name Stratospheerius. That group is composed of Deninzon, Scott Chasolen, Grisha Alexiev, Rufus Philpot, DJ Big Wiz, and guitarist Alex Skolnick (Attention Deficit, Testament).
DFA - Work In Progress Live
Review by Steve Alspach
One of the criticisms of fusion jazz was that it was little more than a forum for players to show off their ability to play 256th notes as fast as possible.
Dreadnaught - American Standard
Review by Gary Hill
So, you think that everything that can be done has been done in progressive rock? Well, prepare to drop that thought. Dreadnaught is here to prove that there is something new going on, and they prove it with style.
Nick D' Virgilio - Karma
Review by Gary Hill
Nick D' Virgilio, the drummer best known for his work with Spock's Beard, but he also served as the drummer on part of Genesis' single post Phil Collins disc.
Echolyn - Cowboy Poems Free
Review by Gary Hill
With this album Echolyn have truly created a unique work that should stand the test of time. The true strength of this band is not in musical virtuosity, although there is plenty of that on display.
Echolyn - Mei
Review by Gary Hill
To this writer, Echolyn's greatest strength has always been their uncanny ability to craft music that, although quite progressive in nature, still manages to maintain a mainstream, almost pop sensibility.
Explorer's Club - Raising the Mammoth
Review by Gary Hill
Explorer's Club is in session once again. This time Trent Gardner has assembled a different group of musicians that includes drummer Terry Bozzio (UK, Frank Zappa, Bozzio Levin Stevens), bassist John Myung (Liquid Tension Experiment, Platypus, Dream Theater), Kerry Livgren (guitarist for Kansas), Gary Wehrkamp (Shadow Gallery) and keyboardist Mark Robertson (Cairo).
Fish - Yang
Review by Gary Hill
Part of a 2 CD combination of "Yin" and "Yang", this disc is a collection of Fish rarities and alternate takes. The reworks of Marillion tracks are some of the highlights of the album, but really it is all quite interesting.
Fish - Yin
Review by Gary Hill
Along with the companion CD "Yang", this album contains many rarities, reworkings ad other items of interest from Fish's career. This one is especially noteable because of the appearance of Steve Howe (Fish's take on "Time and a Word") and the Sensational Alex Harvey Band ("Boston Tea Party").
Fluid Time - Live at JJ Kelly's
Review by Gary Hill
This live disc is a first release of sorts from this Chicago area band. The CD is not really an official release, but just something that they put out to give people a chance to hear them at home.
Galahad - In A Moment of Complete Madness
Review by Gary Hill
Galahad originally released this album as a cassette to sell at their shows. As orders grew, it eventually became this CD, augmented with a few bonus tracks.
Galahad Acoustic Quintet - Not All There
Review by Gary Hill
A spin-off of Galahad, Galahad Acoustic Quintet seems to be a group that have a few sides to their nature. Portions of the album feel like a modern take on minstrel music.
Steve Hackett - Spectral Mornings
Review by Steve Alspach
Two years after Steve Hackett's departure from Genesis, he released Spectral Mornings. For this album he organized a band that played full-time with him on tour and on this album.
Steve Hackett - Voyage of the Acolyte
Review by Steve Alspach
After the sprawl of The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, the subsequent 102-date tour, and Peter Gabriel's departure from Genesis, one could understand the band's willingness to go on a prolonged vacation and take stock of their future. Fortunately, they didn't exactly sit still all that time.
Henry Cow - In Praise of Learning
Review by Steve Alspach
Prog rockers of the world, unite! This little trip down memory lane involves Henry Cow, a progressive outfit whose inspiration appeared to be Frank Zappa and Karl Marx.
Steve Howe - Pulling Strings
Review by Gary Hill
Without a doubt one of Steve Howe's biggest claims to fame is as the guitarist on the majority of Yes' albums. He has also had an intriguing solo career.
Steve Howe - Skyline
Review by Gary Hill
Skyline is a different sort of album for Steve Howe. The disc shares far more with his new age type performances in conjunction with Paul Sutin than it does with any of the rest of his catalog.
Ice Age - Liberation
Review by Gary Hill
Ice Age, Josh Pincus, Jimmy Pappas, Hal Aponte and Arron DiCesare have released Liberation, the follow up to their critically acclaimed debut, The Great Divide.
Jeremy - Celestial City
Review by Gary Hill
Created as a sequel to Jeremy's Pilgrim's Journey album, this one continues the story line that is told on that one. As to the listening, this is more instrumental prog based on Christian themes.
Jeremy - Salt The Planet
Review by Gary Hill
Jeremy Morris is a Christian prog rocker who goes by the name of Jeremy. This is his third album of instrumental music.
Karnataka - The Storm
Review by Steve Alspach
Rare is the album that can impress you with its ability to carry you away with its softer material yet can rock out enough to keep you awake. The Storm, the second album by Karnataka, does just that.
Lana Lane - Curious Goods (Special Edition)
Review by Gary Hill
When Lana Lane and husband/collaborator Erik Norlander decided to reissue her 2nd album, they made an unusual choice.
Lana Lane - Project Shangri-La
Review by Gary Hill
In the liner notes to this album Lane says that she and Erik Norlander (her husband and main musical cohort) were just starting work for this album when the tragedy of September 11th, 2001 occurred. She goes on to speak about how hard it was to start the project in the midst of all that.
Tony Levin - Pieces of The Sun
Review by Gary Hill
Tony Levin consistently puts out musically strong, artistically driven albums, and this one is no exception. Pieces of The Sun does differ in some ways from his previous releases, though.
Tony Levin - Tony Levin Band - Double Espresso
Review by Gary Hill
Tony Levin and his band tour fairly frequently, bringing their unique show to enthusiastic fans on a regular basis. It wasn't until recently, though, that those fans could have a musical documentation of that group at home.
Miriodor - Jungleries Elastiques
Review by Gary Hill
Fans of King Crimson should really find this album to be their cup of tea. Indeed, much of the disc feels like a take on the music of that band.
Miriodor - Mekano
Review by Gary Hill
This is the latest release by Miriodor. The album carries on the sound of their previous album while moving a bit further away from the sounds of King Crimson and more into their own realm.
Neal Morse - It's Not Too Late
Review by Steve Alspach
Neal Morse is showing that there are two sides to his musical persona - one as the leader of Spock's Beard, but another that shows that he is at home writing well-crafted rock numbers.
Steve Morse - Split Decision
Review by Gary Hill
According to the liner notes, this album is named "Split Decision" because Morse had in mind two different albums, one a hard rocking collection and the other a sedate set of pieces.
Scott Mosher - Virtuality
Review by Gary Hill
Scott Mosher is an artist of considerable talent and ideals. The liner notes to his CD list a very extensive list of environmental, social and other idealistic charities that Mosher supports.
Mostly Autumn - The Story So Far
Review by Steve Alspach
Autumn, in its glory, is a magnificent palette of colors - reds, yellows, oranges, and browns.
Mullmuzzler - Mullmuzzler 2
Review by Gary Hill
James LaBrie's "solo" project Mullmuzzler has just released its newest, appropriately, if not imaginatively entitled "Mullmuzzler 2".
Nektar - Magic Is A Child
Review by Gary Hill
1977's Magic Is A Child was never considered by fans to be among Nektar's best, because it is a lot more accessible and less prog rock-oriented than the majority of their catalog. The album's low esteem is really less about the quality of this album, though and more about the incredibly high quality of the rest of the band's repertoire.
Nektar - Man In The Moon
Review by Gary Hill
In the 1980's hair metal and new wave were king. It must have been really hard to be a prog band in those days because so many of them felt the urge to jump on the pop bandwagon to try to stay afloat.
Nektar - Remember The Future
Review by Gary Hill
There are those who consider Remember The Future to be the creative peak of Nektar's career. Certainly there are reasons to buy into that philosophy.
Nektar - Remember The Future (Remaster)
Review by Gary Hill
Another classic album from the progressive rock cult legends Nektar, this is part of their series of remasters of their back catalog.
Niacin - Time Crunch
Review by Gary Hill
Niacin (Billy Sheehan, John Novello and Dennis Chambers) have certainly outdone themselves this time.
Planet X - Live From Oz
Review by Gary Hill
Oz in this case is Australia, not the land of that fabled wizard or the prison show. The album was recorded live on June 13th, 2001 at the Corner Hotel, Richmond, Victoria, Australia.
Romislokus - Vinyl Spring Digital Autumn
Review by Gary Hill
Break out the Borsht and pour the vodka, Russian prog has come to the music scene. Romislokus is a project based in Moscow and their album was recently released.
Rush - Vapor Trails
Review by Steve Alspach
After a five-year hiatus, the Grand ol' Men of power trios return with their nineteenth studio album. And if you think that the layoff made them rusty, rest assured that Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson, and Neil Peart have not lost a bit of their chops.
Spaced Out - Eponymous II
Review by Gary Hill
With this being Spaced Out's sophomore release, the group seems to have done pretty well against the dreaded "sophomore jinx".
Spaced Out - Spaced Out
Review by Gary Hill
Spaced Out (Antoine Fafard, Mathieu Bouchard, Martin Maheux, Louis Cote and Eric St.-Jean) have in their debut a solid album showcasing a progressive rock style that is based heartily in the fusion genre.
Spock's Beard - Snow
Review by Steve Alspach
The parallels are amazing. A band, noticed for its work in progressive rock, releases for its sixth album an epic tale of a young man making his way in the world, only to have the band's lead singer surprisingly pack it in and leave the band.
Transatlantic - The Bridge Across Forever
Review by Steve Alspach
Prog's premier supergroup (Neal Morse, Roine Stolt, Mike Portnoy, and Pete Trewavas) strike again with this 2001 release. This album sounds similar to their first effort, but there are many differences that set this album apart.
Triumvirat - Illusions on a Double Dimple
Review by Steve Alspach
Triumvirat - a band of exciting keyboard wizardry, or the poor man's Emerson, Lake and Palmer? There can be some similarities drawn:
Vanilla Fudge - Vanilla Fudge
Review by Gary Hill
The Fudge is back! I'm sure we can all sit around and debate for ever if they are truly prog or not, but the truth of the matter is, even if they weren't early prog, and I am not sure the answer to that, they influenced so much prog that they have earned an honorary mention.
Vapourspace - Sonic Residue from Vapourspace
Review by Steve Alspach
Here's an interesting concept - take songs from various releases from a progressive rock record label and let the music be transformed by a techno mix until it's nearly unrecognizable from the original source.
Various Artists - Leonardo The Absolute Man
Review by Gary Hill
This is a rock opera based on the life of Leonardo da Vinci. Although this album says "original cast recording" and I have (as does Magna Carta on their website) listed it here as by "Various Artists", it is probably closer to the truth to say that it is by Trent Gardner and friends.
Various Artists - Steinway To Heaven
Review by Gary Hill
It seems like a rather novel, but still somewhat obvious concept. Take various keyboardists, mostly from the world of progressive rock and have them record various classical piano pieces.
Various Artists - The Moon Revisited
Review by Gary Hill
Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon was more than likely not only the best selling prog album of all time, but definitely the album, of all albums (not just prog) to stay on the charts the longest. From that point of view this tribute disc makes sense.
Metal/Prog Metal CD Reviews
Angra - Rebirth
Review by Mike Korn
Most associate Brazil with Sepultura and Krisiun, but Angra proves that there's more to the land of the Amazon than nu-metal bashing and screaming death metal. Angra is a long-running progressive/melodic heavy metal band that has carved a fair little niche for itself.
Arch Enemy - Wages of Sin
Review by Mike Korn
They say anticipation makes the heart grow fonder. If that's the case, metal fans should be looking forward to the latest Arch Enemy record Wages of Sin" with unmatched adoration.
Blackshine - Soulless and Proud
Review by Mike Korn
This is a most interesting release from a band I wasn't really familiar with before. Hailing from Sweden, Blackshine call their music "Goth And Roll" for its mixture of gloominess and raw power.
Electric Wizard - Let Us Prey
Review by Mike Korn
I don't really know what to make of these doleful Englishmen, but I do know that they have created some of the most depressing, suffocating shrouds of sonic gloom that have ever been spewed forth from the hands of man. "Doom metal" is a fairly close approximation, but "psychedelic torture" or "drug drone" would be equally appropriate.
Engorged - Engorged
Review by Mike Korn
I haven't had this much fun since I put those kittens in a blender a few years back! I'd never heard of Engorged before this CD, but this bunch of West Coast sickos have put the "fun" back in death metal in a big way.
Five Pointe 0 - Untitled
Review by Arnold Hablewitz
Coolness - as Joliet, IL is now firmly on the musical map with this, a 6-piece metal band comprised mostly of kids just out of or finishing high school. Kicking around for only a few years, the band has already honed a surprisingly mature sound while still retaining that youthful energy and attitude that the nu-metal genre is known for.
Grave Digger - The Grave Digger
Review by Mike Korn
I don't know what it is about German bands that makes them so tenacious, but Grave Digger are another example of the hardy Teutonic breed that has produced long-lasting bands like Running Wild, Helloween, Kreator and Sodom.
Halford - Crucible
Review by Mike Korn
The name of this record should really be "Redemption". "Resurrection" was a very apt title for the debut Halford CD.
High on Fire - Surrounded By Thieves
Review by Mike Korn
If ever an album cover gave you an idea of how the music within sounds, this would be the one. We have before us a horde of mail-clad warriors looking like they will kill anything that moves.
The Hope Conspiracy - Endnote
Review by Mike Korn
American hardcore music seems to be mutating minute by minute. Starting out as a kind of extra heavy punk with sing-along choruses, hardcore in recent years has added a ton of heavy metal elements and has experimented with highly bizarre and complex rhythms and time changes.
Immortal - The Sons of Northern Darkness
Review by Mike Korn
Forget all your preconceptions when listening to this disk. Ignore the fairly cheesy look of the band, which screams "Norwegian Black Metal" in giant Gothic letters.
Impaled - Mondo Medicale
Review by Mike Korn
We put a lot of trust in our physicians. In the hands of these skilled healers we place our very well-being and good health, trusting in their knowledge and better instincts. But what if that faith is misplaced?
Kittie - Oracle
Review by Mike Korn
The lethal young ladies of Kittie show that they are going to be around for a while with their second album "Oracle". When their debut "Spit" came out, they were looked on by many as a novelty act, like a metal version of The Runaways.
Manilla Road - Atlantis Rising
Review by Mike Korn
Manilla Road is truly the band that would not die. Never caving in to whatever the prevailing trend was (be it grunge, death or glam), the Wichita, Kansas band had a career that defied the odds and managed to release some outstanding epic heavy metal during the 80's and early 90's.
Motörhead - Hammered
Review by Mike Korn
Just when you thought it was time to stick a fork in Motörhead they come roaring back with "Hammered", and again we doubting Thomases must bow our heads in shame.
Nile - In Their Darkened Shrines
Review by Mike Korn
Arising from the depths of the underworld on the hot winds of Horus, the metal warriors of Nile have struck a powerful blow for the gods of ancient Egypt.
Ozzy Osbourne - Down To Earth
Review by Gary Hill
Quite a few critics have said that the strength of this album is the fact that it doesn't waver from Ozzy's tried and true style, and that fact establishes a musical reliability in a sea of changing music. Well, this reviewer for one thinks that they must not have really listened to this album.
Savatage - Gutter Ballet
Review by Mike Korn
Very few bands have ever tasted the adversity that Savatage has. Nor have many stuck by their guns through the shifting tides of the music industry the way these Floridians have.
Seven Witches - Xiled To Infinity And One
Review by Mike Korn
There's a lot of hot air being expelled by bands claiming they are "true" heavy metal these days. In most cases, hot air is all that it is.
Silent Force - Infatuator
Review by Mike Korn
Bands like Silent Force sure put a lot of pressure on the listener. On the one hand, the music that's found on their second release "Infatuator" offers nothing that hasn't been heard many times before.
Slayer - God Hates Us All
Review by Mike Korn
The very essence of musical misanthropy, Slayer have tread their own blood-soaked path for close to two decades now. During that time, they've seen the rise of trends like grunge rock, death metal, black metal and rap metal but have allowed little of that to affect them.
Symphony X - The Odyssey
Review by Mike Korn
Here is a band that has finally gotten progressive metal right. They've reached that elusive point where muscle and melody intertwine, without one overwhelming the other.
Non-Prog CD Reviews
Tori Amos - Scarlet's Walk
Review by Gary Hill
Tori Amos always produces quality albums and has never failed to entertain this listener for certain. This album is no exception.
Tori Amos - Strange Little Girls
Review by Gary Hill
What an interesting decision and album this is. Amos this time chooses to record a collection of covers of other musician's songs rather than original material.
India Arie - Acoustic Soul
Review by Gary Hill
With Acoustic Soul, India Arie has released a very strong debut. She shows that she has a great gift for song writing and musical and vocal performance.
The Darkest of the Hillside Thickets - Let Sleeping Gods Lie
Review by Gary Hill
An unusual concept, this collection of insanity from Darkest of the Hillside Thickets was assembled for use with the new version of the Call of Cthulhu. In keeping with that concept, the back cover actually includes rules on how game play is changed by the playing of various songs.
The Darkest of the Hillside Thickets - Spaceship Zero Soundtrack
Review by Gary Hill
There are some who will never get the Thickets. Either the group's particular blend of alternative, metal, punk and other sounds will turn them off, or they just will not understand the sense of humor and the macabre (especially HP Lovecraft's mythos) that permeates this band's material.
Grand Funk Railroad - Closer To Home
Review by Gary Hill
This is definitely not Grand Funk Railroad's strongest release. That said, I can think of at least two reasons to have this disc.
Grand Funk Railroad - Live The 1971 Tour
Review by Gary Hill
Grand Funk Railroad was a band on which I, and many others cut my teeth. They were called the worst band of all time by Rolling Stone Magazine, but that didn't bother us.
Grand Funk Railroad - On Time
Review by Gary Hill
With On Time Grand Funk released a mixed bag of music. With the reissue, Capitol has added a couple of bonuses to sweeten the pot.
Gravity Kills - Superstarved
Review by Mike Korn
Gravity Kills emerged in the mid-90's as part of the horde of bands inspired by the success of Nine Inch Nails. That hungry mob also included acts like Stabbing Westward, Sister Machine Gun and Filter.
Vince Guaraldi - A Charlie Brown Christmas
Review by Gary Hill
Mention A Charlie Brown Christmas to most people, and it will elicit a response. The Peanuts gang, and that movie in particular, have touched so many people.
Gary Hoey - The Best of Ho! Ho! Hoey
Review by Gary Hill
Gary Hoey is often lumped into the same category as the Yngwie Malmsteens of the world, but he really has a lot more soul, and is a heck of a lot more fun. Yes, he is a killer guitarist, and yes, he can be technical, but it is really the heart, soul and spirit of fun that separates Hoey from those other guitar slingers.
Mick Jagger - Goddess in the Doorway
Review by Gary Hill
Mick Jagger has given us a winner in his new solo release Goddess in The Doorway. The album has both a modern texture and reflections of his Rolling Stones roots.
Elton John - Songs From The West Coast
Review by Gary Hill
Amongst the musicians playing on this album are Elton's longtime cohorts Davey Johnstone and Nigel Olsson. Also joining him are such musical icons as Stevie Wonder, Rufus Wainwright, and Billy Preston.
Lenny Kravitz - Lenny
Review by Gary Hill
Lenny Kravitz is a very talented musician, make no mistake. He, like only a handful of artists, records his albums almost completely unassisted.
No Doubt - Rock Steady
Review by Latasha Moree
No Doubt sheds previous perfection in favor of carefree fun.
The Quill - Voodoo Caravan
Review by Mike Korn
Somebody get me some smelling salts, I've just been knocked out....
The Step Kings - 3 The Hard Way
Review by Mike Korn
Yo! Listen up, youse guys! Dis here is da latest plate from da Step Kings, 3 tough-lookin' mooks from Noo Yawk who been crankin' out a rough and ready brand of rock for a few years now.
Geoff Tate - Geoff Tate
Review by Gary Hill
Geoff Tate (the man) is probably best known as the lead singer of Queensryche. "Geoff Tate" (the album) is not likely to be confused with an album by Queensryche. However, why should it be?
Various Artists - The Crow: Salvation - Original Film Score Composed by: Marco Beltrami (and Lauri Crook)
Review by Vivian Lee
Whenever a movie is released, much is made of the soundtrack. A soundtrack, considered a film's core, usually features rock, rap or soul done by either the latest supergroup or old faves.
Veal - Hot Loser
Review by Gary Hill
Canadian band Veal (Luke Doucet, Howard Redekopp, and Chang) seem to have their hearts firmly rooted in alternative music, but they wander from one type to another quite a bit.
DVD/Video Reviews
Cradle of Filth - Heavy Left Handed and Candid (DVD)
Review by Gary Hill
While this DVD is not for everyone (witness the nudity, profanity and gore that pervades it), it is quite good. It should appeal to all fans of Cradle of Filth, but would make a good introduction to the band for the unitiated fans of Gothic death-metal.
Yes - Symphonic Live DVD
Review by Gary Hill
Alright, alright, so Yes seems to be coming out with a live album or video (or both) every time they tour these days. This one is a bit special in some ways, though.
Ray Bennett
Interview by Gary Hill
Interview With Ray Bennett from 2002
Black 47
Interview by Gary Hill
Interview With Black 47's Larry Kirwan from 2002
Interview by Arnold Hablewitz
Interview With Converge's Jake Bannon from 2002

The Darkest of the Hillside Thickets
Interview by The Darkest of the Hillside Thickets
Darkest of the Hillside Thickets FAQ
Courtesy of Toren MacBin
The Darkest of the Hillside Thickets
Interview by Gary Hill
Interview With Darkest of the Hillside Thickets' Toren MacBin from 2002

Interview by Gary Hill
Interview with Brett Kull and Ray Weston of Echolyn from 2002
Interview by Arnold Hablewitz
Interview With Engine's Bernie Versailles from 2002
Interview by Mike Korn
Interview With Engorged's Ryan Engorged from 2002
Evelyn Glennie
Interview by Steve Alspach
Interview With Evelyn Glennie from 2002

Grand Funk Railroad
Interview by Gary Hill
Interview With Don Brewer of Grand Funk Railroad from 2002
Gravity Kills
Interview by Mike Korn
Interview With Gravity Kills' Jeff Scheel from 2002

Steve Hackett
Interview by Steve Alspach
Interview With Steve Hackett from 2002
The Hope Conspiracy
Interview by Mike Korn
Interview With Hope Conspiracy's Jonas from 2002
Steve Howe
Interview by Gary Hill
Interview With Steve Howe from 2002

Interview by Mike Korn
Interview With Impaled's Sean McGrath from 2002

Interview by Mike Korn
Interview With Kittie's Mercedes Lander from 2002

Lands End
Interview by Gary Hill
Interview With Lands End's Fred Hunter from 2002

Huw Lloyd Langton
Interview by Bruce Stringer
Interview With Huw Lloyd Langton from 2002
Tony Levin
Interview by Bob Cooper
Interview Tony Levin from December 2002
Tony Levin
Interview by Gary Hill
Interview With Tony Levin from 2002
Frank Marino
Interview by Bruce Stringer
Interview With Frank Marino from 2002

Interview by Gary Hill
Interview With Miriodor's Pascal Globensky from 2002
Steve Morse
Interview by Bob Cooper
Interview With Steve Morse from 2002

Interview by Mike Korn
Interview With Motörhead's Mikkey Dee from 2002
Seven Witches
Interview by Mike Korn
Interview With Seven Witches' Jack Frost From 2007

Spaced Out
Interview by Gary Hill
Interview With Spaced Out's Antoine Fafard From 2002
Geoff Tate
Interview by Gary Hill
Interview With Geoff Tate and his band from 2002

Concert Reviews
Black 47 - Live In Chicago, 2002
Review by Gary Hill
Black 47 are without a doubt one of the coolest Celtically oriented rock bands on the face of the planet. The elements that make them so are a great sense of humor and irony, influences that reach far from the areas of Celtic music and a wonderful sense of fun.
Blind Guardian - Live in Chicago, 2002
Review by Arnold Hablewitz
Blind Guardian went onstage to the introduction of friend and peer, Iced Earth's Jon Shaeffer, who (being from Indiana) drove out to intro his buds to the anxious crowd. Hansi Kursch and company then blasted through an hour and a half of career-spanning favorites that took more tracks off of the "Nightfall in Middle-Earth" album than anything else. S
Blue Öyster Cult - Live In Beloit, WI, 2002
Review by Gary Hill
If you hear Godzilla, but he is nowhere to be seen, what does that mean? The last time I checked it meant that Blue Oyster Cult was in town.
California Guitar Trio - Live In Palatine, IL, 2002
Review by Gary Hill
Simplicity versus complexity - it seems the two words are mutually exclusive. However, the California Guitar Trio prove that there are ways in which this is not necessarily true.
Caravan - Live at NEARfest, 2002
Review by Stephen Ellis
I had never paid much attention to that "Canterbury" sound so I was very unfamiliar with Caravan. I had been sent a Canterbury sampler prior to NF by a dear friend so I had heard some Caravan and had some idea of what to expect.
Echolyn - Live at NEARfest, 2002
Review by Stephen Ellis
I've tried very hard to like this band. And to their credit they put on a very good show at NEARFest 2K2. They played the songs I had anticipated they would play -pretty much the best selections from Suffocating the Bloom, As the World, and Cowboy Poems Free.

Enchant - Live at NEARfest, 2002
Review by Stephen Ellis
When Enchant was first announced as part of the NEARfest list of bands I was very excited, as I have been following them by their CD's since they first came out on Magna Carta.

The Flower Kings - Live In Palatine, IL, 2002
Review by Gary Hill
Talking to those in attendance after this show it is obvious that there were two types of fans in the audience. On the one hand there were those who ate up the entire set, savoring, and even reveling in the improvisational jamming that was spread throughout the band's set.
Grand Funk Railroad - Live in Beloit, WI, 2002
Review by Gary Hill
Rolling Stone Magazine may have branded Grand Funk Railroad as the worst band of all time, but you sure couldn't tell it by the reaction of this crowd. Guess that just goes to show just how much that magazine does not know.
Steve Hackett - and Evelyn Glennie With Roger King and Phillip Smith, London, 2002
Review by Steve Alspach
London's Queen Elizabeth Hall was the site for the world premiere performance of Steve Hackett's composition "The City in the Sea." This conceptual piece, based on a poem by Edgar Allan Poe, combined Hackett's guitar work with the brilliant percussive work of Glennie.
Steve Hackett - Live at NEARfest, 2002
Review by Stephen Ellis
What can I say that has not already been said about this man and his music? I've loved his guitar work and sound since his days in Genesis.
Hawkwind - Live In London, 2002
Review by Bruce Stringer
H had originally planned to see Hawkwind play Birmingham during the December mini-tour, however - due to cancellation - I ended up heading down to London's Walthamstow Assembly Hall, in the north-east to see them play their yearly Christmas show.

High on Fire - Live In Milwaukee, 2002
Review by Mike Korn
The buzz is huge on High On Fire. Their new album "Surrounded By Thieves" has emerged as one of my favorite metal albums of the last few years but the question always remains: can the power of the album be recreated live?
Judas Priest - Live In Chicago, February, 2002
Review by Mike Korn
Should Judas Priest, quite possibly the purest heavy metal band on the planet, retire gracefully, or should they continue to make headbangers' necks sore into the new millennium?
Tony Levin - Live In Chicago, 2002
Review by Gary Hill
Have you ever seen the Tony Levin band live? If not, what are you waiting for?
Miriodor - Live at NEARfest, 2002
Review by Roger Rossen
I had never really heard of this band before seeing them at NEARfest, and their Saturday afternoon performance snuck up on us all with the now expected NEARfest promise of progressive music bliss.
Morbid Angel - Live In Dekalb, IL, 2002
Review by Mike Korn
The peaceful farming community of Dekalb, IL, was rocked to its very foundations by the devastating 1-2 punch of Motorhead and Morbid Angel on May 7, 2002.
Motörhead - Live In Dekalb, 2002
Review by Mike Korn
The peaceful farming community of Dekalb, IL, was rocked to its very foundations by the devastating 1-2 punch of Motörhead and Morbid Angel on May 7, 2002. When these veterans of the metal scene finished their assault, the cornfields surrounding Dekalb probably resembled the scorched earth of a battleground more than anything else.
Spaced Out - Live at NEARfest, 2002
Review by Stephen Ellis

The first thing to be said about the Sunday opening band, Spaced Out is "good band, wrong day".

Symphony X - Live in Chicago, 2002
Review by Arnold Hablewitz
Symphony X have just put out quite possibly the finest true metal release of the year, or maybe even the ensuing decade, and now they took to their first proper U.S. tour in support of the release. In my opinion, although Blind Guardian's set was rather awesome, Symphony X owned this night.
Geoff Tate - Live in Chicago, 2002
Review by Gary Hill
Yes once sang, "what happened to this song I once knew so well". Geoff Tate and his band did an interesting take on songs we once knew so well from Queensryche.
Yes - Live In Chicago, 2002
Review by Gary Hill
First things first, a warning since the tour is still underway, if you are one of the people who is going to see one of the shows, and if you like to be surprised, don't read this review until after you see them - because there are spoilers in the review.

Yes - Live in Chicago, November 21, 2002
Review by Steve Alspach
Only four months after previously playing in Chicago, Yes returned and put on an superb show that showcased some of the highlights of the band's 33-year career. With Rick Wakeman back into the fold, the band showed that it still hasn't lost any of its chops.

Book Reviews
Free - Free - Heavy Load written by David Clayton & Todd K. Smith
Review by Bruce Stringer

The first thing that hit me when I opened this best seller was that it's jam packed with rare and previously unpublished photographs.

Elton John - His Song -The Musical Journey of Elton John
Review by Gary Hill
This is the first book review from MSJ, a step that has been in the minds of the staff for sometime. So, hopefully this will not be the last.
Marillion - Marillion / Separated Out: The Complete History 1983-2002 written by Jon Collins
Review by Steve Alspach
"Marillion / Separated Out" is a very thorough look at a band that, for the last 20 years, has managed to make music strictly on its own terms.
Rush - Ghost Rider: Travels on the Healing Road written by Neil Peart
Review by Steve Alspach
Neil Peart's second book, "Ghost Rider," is an extraordinary document that details an incredibly painful time in his life and the recovery process that followed. In August 1997 Neil and then-wife Jackie Taylor lost their daughter Selena in a one-car traffic accident.
Various Artists - The Little Black Leather Book of Rock 'N' Roll
Review by Gary Hill
It's only partially black, definitely not leather, but it is certainly little and undoubtedly about rock 'n' roll. This is a pocket-sized volume of quotes about all sorts of topics surrounding the musical style that started out as rock 'n' roll and later became just plain rock.
Yes - Yesstories-Yes In Their Own Words written by Tim Morse
Review by Gary Hill
Tim Morse created an intriguing book with this one. There is nothing unique about conducting interviews with artists when doing a book about them.
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