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December 2004 - Issue 4
Progressive Rock CD Reviews
Aethellis - Aethellis
Review by Josh Turner
Sometimes curious children venture out into the woods to an isolated spot and make simple discoveries. These mischievous miscreants find an interesting bug under a hidden rock, see crayfish swimming in creeks, or observe exotic butterflies suckling on the surrounding plants.
Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman and Howe - An Evening of Yes Music Plus
Review by Gary Hill
Before the Union album, Jon Anderson, frustrated with the musical direction of the Rabin era Yes, left the group and reunited with former classic Yes-mates Steve Howe, Rick Wakeman and Bill Bruford. Although, they were four fifths of the same lineup that brought such albums as Fragile and Close To The Edge to life, Chris Squire owned the rights to the name "Yes", and wasn't interested in letting them use it.
Anubis Spire - Back To Abydos
Review by Gary Hill
A collection of odds and end pieces that didn't make it onto their "Old Lions…" disc, this album is actually quite good. Every meal of leftovers should be this pleasing.
Asia - Silent Nation
Review by Gary Hill
I remember when Asia's first album was released thinking that it was an intriguing combination of sounds, still basically prog rock, but packaged in very accessible cuts that really rocked. After a while Asia seemed to lose their sense of direction, and I often lost interest.
Dave Bainbridge - Veil of Gossamer
Review by Gary Hill
Dave Bainbridge may not be a household name, even in the progressive rock world, but after listening to this CD, I think he should be. He has created with Veil of Gossamer one of the finest prog releases of the year.
Bird Mancini - Year of Change
Review by Josh Turner
The name is taken from the two lead musicians of the band. This would be Ruby Bird (accordion, harmonica, melodica, lead & back up vocals) and Billy Carl Mancini (guitars, percussion, lead & back up vocals).
Birdsongs of the Mesozoic - Dancing on A'A
Review by Gary Hill
I got this disc after having heard quite a few other Birdsongs albums from the catalog. Yes, the music here is consistent with the rest of their material; jazzy free form progressive rock excursions that are often hard to classify.
Birdsongs of the Mesozoic - Faultline
Review by Gary Hill
This is arguably the most accessible disc from Birdsongs of the Mesozoic. That said, don't expect to hear the latest pop or rock sounds here.
Birdsongs of the Mesozoic - Pyroclastics
Review by Gary Hill
Birdsongs of the Mesozoic is an unusual band. While they practice an adventurous form of progressive instrumental rock - at times closer to jazz or classical - they still manage to come across as playful and catchy.
Birdsongs of the Mesozoic - The Iridium Controversy
Review by Gary Hill
Birdsongs of the Mesozoic definitely have class. The group has always combined classical instrumentation with more rock and jazz oriented compositions into a musical style that is nearly impossible to pigeon hole.
California Guitar Trio - Whitewater
Review by Gary Hill
The first thing that I feel compelled to say is that I love the cover of this disc. It is arguably the best album cover of the entire year.
The Clinton Administration - Take You Higher
Review by Josh Turner
While the Clinton Administration's first disc presented their interpretations of Parliament songs, this outing has them searching back a little further to tackle the work of Sly and the Family Stone. The album is mostly a blues affair, but it is progressive too.
Djam Karet - Ascension
Review by Gary Hill
Djam Karet really is an intriguing band. The group have a way of producing material that is entertaining and catchy, while still spacey and even weird a lot of the time.
Djam Karet - Live at NEARfest 2001
Review by Gary Hill
Djam Karet's particular form of progressive rock is very guitar dominated, and is really about instrumentals that showcase atmospheric themes, soaring guitar patterns and intricate song structures.
Farpoint - First Light
Review by Josh Turner
There is a lot of debate over what may or may not be progressive rock. Farpoint would be a great place to start for anyone who might be wondering.
Farpoint - From Dreaming to Dreaming
Review by Josh Turner
In this album, they've finally found the winning ticket and they cash it in for a fun-filled romp in Willy's Chocolate Factory.
Farpoint - Grace
Review by Josh Turner
The album is equal to the debut, but not entirely equivalent. The music is booming and bombastic in this release.
Fish - Field of Crows
Review by Steve Alspach
Scotland's favorite 6'5" singer (well, how many are there, really?) returned in 2003 with a new CD. Using the figure of the crow as a thematic center to the album, there is a unity to many of the songs in this CD.
The Flower Kings - Adam and Eve
Review by Steve Alspach
They're nothing if not prolific. Sweden's Flower Kings are back with another excellent offering of lengthy numbers and shorter, more accessible tunes.
Gazpacho - When Earth Lets Go
Review by Josh Turner
The definition of elegance is something that's simple, but effective. Gazpacho meets this definition to a tee.
Gryphon - Glastonbury Carol
Review by Steve Alspach
If you ever want to hear a band go "medieval on your @$$" - literally - this is a good place to start. While bands like Jethro Tull, Gentle Giant, or Fairport Convention would pay good homage to renaissance-era music, Gryphon immersed themselves in this kind of style.
Hawkwind - Choose Your Masques
Review by Gary Hill
I've read a lot of reviews of this CD where Hawkwind fans trash it. Personally, I have always really enjoyed this one a lot.
Hawkwind - Space Ritual Volume II
Review by Gary Hill
Originally when this was released on vinyl, Space Ritual Volume I and II didn't exist, only one multi disc set "Space Ritual". When released on CD it was culled into two separate albums.
Hawkwind - This Is Hawkwind, Do Not Panic
Review by Bruce Stringer
One step on from the classic, yet volatile, Levitation line-up this release is a collection of tracks highlighting their performance of 1981's Stonehenge festival, re-sequenced and sounding at their most energetic since the days of Lemmy. 
IQ - Dark Matter
Review by Steve Alspach
Having reviewed the last Jadis album, my curiosity was piqued by the fact that two of the band members were from IQ. I found their latest CD (independent CD stores - ya gotta love 'em), and gave it a spin.
Jadis - Fanatic
Review by Steve Alspach
You have to hand it to IQ - you give a band an opening slot with you and end up loaning them half your band. So it is with Jadis - the "classic" lineup of Gary Chandler, Steve Christey, Martin Orford, and John Jowitt got together to record this, their tenth CD release as an off-shoot of long-time fixtures IQ.
Kansas - Kansas (Remaster)
Review by Gary Hill
Along with Song For America, this disc is the first in a series of remasters of classic albums by this American prog band. The two CD's definitely show different sides to the band.
Kansas - Song For America (Remaster)
Review by Gary Hill
Kansas is in the midst of reissuing its catalog. The first of these remasters is the self-titled album and this one.
Karmakanik - Entering the Spectra
Review by Josh Turner
This is supposed to be a solo project by Jonas Reingold, but it really stands alone as a complete band. If it were good it would defy expectations.
Karmakanik - Wheel of Life
Review by Josh Turner
To say this disc would be as good as the band's debut would be saying a lot. The first one offered a variety of styles.
Kraan - Through
Review by Josh Turner
With a name like Kraan, it's got to be good. In truth, the music is exceptional.
Lana Lane - Return to Japan
Review by Gary Hill
This, the first live album from Lana Lane is a very good two disc set. It features a lot of material from various albums recorded on various tours.
Lana Lane - Winter Sessions
Review by Gary Hill
This album by Lana Lane features a number of originals and several covers. She and the band even reach back to cover some old jazz cuts, and show that they can do just about anything as they pull it off with a completely convincing style.
Liquid Scarlet - Liquid Scarlet
Review by Josh Turner
The debut of Liquid Scarlet should appeal to friends and relatives of the Parmenter family. Discipline's Matthew Parmenter and Eyestrings' Ryan Parmenter would certainly feel welcome within the confines of this release.
Marillion - Fugazi
Review by Josh Turner
While Marillion is by no means a favorite among radio jockeys, it is an elite group to many progressive rock fans.
Marillion - Marbles
Review by Steve Alspach
Aylesbury's finest come back with Marbles, their first studio 2-CD. Marbles is prog at its finest - the band knows how to write and play in a more conventional structure, but they haven't lost their knack to construct longer pieces that never meander.
Marillion - Misplaced Childhood
Review by Gary Hill
This album was my first exposure to Marillion, and the first thoughts that I had were that they sounded a lot like Genesis, and the real Genesis, not the pop stuff that the band was putting out by that time.
Neal Morse - One
Review by Josh Turner
While Testimony is spoken in the first person, One is in the third. Neal has the knack for relaying meaning through song. He tells a smooth flowing story, yet it's nowhere near a monologue.
Scott Mosher - Inferno
Review by Gary Hill
With Inferno Scott Mosher has shown once again that he is an incredible talent to be reckoned with in the harder edged prog field.
Mostly Autumn - Passengers
Review by Josh Turner
Mostly Autumn is billed as the new Pink Floyd. The new Pink Floyd might arguably be RPWL, but there is still some truth to this statement.
Nektar - A Tab In The Ocean (Remaster)
Review by Gary Hill
When I first discovered Nektar, my favorite album by them was without a doubt Remember The Future. The thing is, the only copy of A Tab in the Ocean that I ever had was an LP that was scratched almost to point of total unplayability.
Nightingale - Daylight Saving Time
Review by Josh Turner
If you did a search for bands with the name Nightingale, you would wind up with more than a single hit.
Erik Norlander - Music Machine
Review by Gary Hill
n Music Machine Erik Norlander has created the newest rock opera. His story tells the tale of the first manufactured rock idol, hence the name "Music Machine".
Erik Norlander - Seas of Orion
Review by Gary Hill
I have to say that I really like Erik Norlander. He is an incredibly talented musician, producer and songwriter.
Erik Norlander - Stars Rain Down
Review by Gary Hill
On his new live album, Erik Norlander presents his excellent blending of progressive rock stylings with those of harder edged material like Deep Purple.
OnOffOn - Your Mind
Review by Gary Hill
With their second album, OnOffOn have created one that is more consistent in tone, but very hard to classify. Certainly the jazz influences are strong here, and the band manage to pull together some strong blues influenced material.
Orphan Project - Orphan Found
Review by Josh Turner
This orphan may just revolutionize the face of music if given the proper nurturing by the listening audience. Scores of influences can be heard in their music.
Ozric Tentacles - Spirals in Hyperspace
Review by Steve Alspach
Those veteran cosmic rockers are back! Celebrating their 20th anniversary of exploring rock's cosmos, the Ozrics are back with their 20th album. Anchored by mainstays Ed Wynne, John Egan, Seaweed, and with Schoo and Pazza on drums and bass respectively, this disc once again takes the listener to points unknown.
Pendragon - Not of This World
Review by Josh Turner
In times when a short list keeps getting shorter, it is a rare occurrence to encounter a band that is an instant addition. Pendragon is one of these exceptions to the rule.
John Petrucci and Jordan Rudess - An Evening with John Petrucci and Jordan Rudess
Review by Gary Hill
This is actually a reissue of an out of print disc featuring Dream Theater's guitarist extraordinaire John Petrucci in duet with their keyboard wizard Jordan Rudess. There is, without any surprise, some great musicianship on show here.
Jordan Rudess - Rhythm of Time
Review by Josh Turner
Jordan Rudess is a virtual virtuoso. His must be an android based on the way that he plays.
Todd Rundgren - Todd Rundgren's Utopia
Review by Steve Alspach
Okay, so you're Todd Rundgren. You've just released the two-record "Something/Anything" album that included some classic pop songs like "Hello, It's Me" and "I Saw the Light."
Salem Hill - Be
Review by Steve Alspach
Thank God for perseverance. Without it, Edison would have said "The hell with it, candlelight's not so bad," the book of Exodus would have been a lot shorter, and Salem Hill wouldn't have given us this crafty little gem.
Saxlife - Total Sax Retain Saxlife Plays Yes
Review by Gary Hill
Saxlife is Jamison Smeltz performing as a saxophone quartet of one. Here he has compiled a collection of his arrangements of Yes songs.
Spastic Ink - Ink Compatible
Review by Josh Turner
Many influences can be heard and many comparisons can be drawn, however, the outcome is quite unique. While one prescription dulls the pain, another treats the downing affects with a stimulating boost.
Swedish Family - Vintage Prog - The Best of SF
Review by Josh Turner
Being an avid fan of the latest progressive rock, I'm torn between the classic sounds from the seventies and releases just starting to surface. Back in the day when technology was young, progressive musicians had innovative ideas and clever new instruments.
The Tangent - The World That We Drive Through
Review by Josh Turner
With all the hype, this was setting itself up to be the disappointment of the year. So, how good is The World That We Drive Through?
Tempest - Shapeshifter
Review by Gary Hill
As someone who has followed Tempest for quite a while it is very rewarding to see them release a disc as good as this one. They have nothing in their catalog to compare really.
Trans-Siberian Orchestra - The Lost Christmas Eve
Review by Gary Hill
For those not in the know, Trans-Siberian Orchestra is a spin off from the band Savatage. This is the third CD in a trilogy of Christmas discs the band has produced.
UK - Night After Night
Review by Gary Hill
The third, and final album by what was probably the first prog rock super-group (OK, other than ELP), this is a live album. Although Bill Bruford had left the band after the first album, his presence is still felt in the composition of a few of these tracks, but Terry Bozzio brings in his own style as the replacement.
Van der Graaf Generator - Vital Live
Review by Bruce Stringer
With the recording of this live performance in the care of drummer extraordinaire, Guy Evans, this incarnation of Van der Graaf Generator, as always, speaks volumes in it's work. With his ear, that of a seasoned engineer, the mix is bass-end heavy and has the dynamic control of expansive tension rarely heard on live recordings.
Various Artists - Modern Drummer Presents Drum Nation Volume One
Review by Steve Alspach
If you want to know what the state of drumming is circa 2004, you would do well to check this CD out.
Rick Wakeman - Live at Hammersmith
Review by Gary Hill
This live album from 1985 captures Rick Wakeman and his band performing tracks from his Six Wives of Henry the VIII, Journey to the Centre of the Earth and The Myths and Legends of King Arthur albums.
White Willow - Storm Season
Review by Josh Turner
While this band keeps itself contained within the walls of progressive metal, it wavers every so often. The random stimulus is what keeps the music interesting.
Yes - 90125
Review by Gary Hill
After Yes broke up following the Drama tour, Chris Squire and Alan White (first trying to put together a group with Led Zep's Jimmy Page) hooked up with South African Trevor Rabin to begin putting together a band.
Yes - Big Generator
Review by Gary Hill
Talk about contrasts - for my money, this album opens with the worst piece of drivel the band have ever produced in "Rhythm of Love". I truly despise the song and cringe when I hear it.
Yes - Classic Yes
Review by Gary Hill
This compilation of Yes material came out at the same time as Yesshows, shortly after the break up of the band following the Drama tour. This truly does feature some classic Yes material and would represent a great first look at the band.
Yes - Drama
Review by Gary Hill
In 1980 when Yes found themselves without their keyboardist (Rick Wakeman) and vocalist (Jon Anderson), they turned to their manager Brian Lane to see if he had any suggestions.
Yes - Tales From Topographic Oceans
Review by Gary Hill
This is quite possibly the most derisive Yes album of the entire catalog. Certainly many critics panned it, but that wasn't all that unusual.
Yes - Talk
Review by Gary Hill
After the Union tour, the Rabin (or Yes West as many dubbed it) incarnation of the band reformed to record Talk. The promo hype at the time said that it was proof positive that this lineup was capable of the more complex and powerful progressive rock creations that had been the meat and potatoes of the earlier band.
Yes - Time and A Word
Review by Gary Hill
When Yes went into the studio to record their second album, the producer decided that they could benefit from an orchestral string arrangement on much of the material.
Yes - Union
Review by Gary Hill
The great experiment - at the time of this album's recording there were essentially two versions of Yes out and making music.
Yes - Yes
Review by Gary Hill
The self-titled debut by Yes, this 1969 album was full of psychedelic wandering and experimentation. It had some definite strong points, and did, in fact show off signs of the band that would later develop.
Yes - Yesshows
Review by Gary Hill
When Yes broke up after the aborted Drama tour, their label released two "new" albums, Classic Yes (a compilation) and Yesshows (a live album recorded before Jon Anderson and Rick Wakeman chose to take their leave of the band).
Yes - Yesterdays
Review by Gary Hill
This compilation is composed almost entirely of material from the first two Yes releases (Yes and Time and a Word) - the majority from the second album. As such the lineup consists of Jon Anderson, Peter Banks, Bill Bruford, Tony Kaye and Chris Squire.
Frank Zappa - Roxy and Elsewhere
Review by Steve Alspach
Toward the end of the run of the Mothers of Invention, this 2-LP set was released. Only Zappa would have the -dare I say it? - Unmitigated audacity to release a live album with virtually all new material.
Metal/Prog Metal CD Reviews
Aina - Days of Rising Doom-The Metal Opera
Review by Mike Korn
On the surface, the worlds of heavy metal and opera would appear to have little in common. But dig deep and you will find a lot of common threads binding the two musical genres.
Atreyu - The Curse
Review by Josh Turner
Atreyu is one of the hottest bands in Nu Metal. With The Curse, they release an album that is completely on fire. They accomplish something very few bands are capable of achieving.
Black Label Society - Hangover Music, Vol. 6
Review by Gary Hill
I have to say, when I got this one for MSJ's coverage of Ozzfest, I never expected to hear what I did. Most of the Ozzfest crew's discs usually tend to be fairly monolithic hard and heavy releases.
Darkest Hour - Hidden Hands of a Sadist Nation
Review by Arnold Hablewitz
A little growling death metal/hardcore vocal can go a long way. It can be good when used sparingly.
Dismember - Where Ironcrosses Grow
Review by Mike Korn
The metal scene is constantly splitting and fracturing into a multitude of genres and subgenres. In the last few years, we've seen the rise of metalcore, melodic death metal, stoner metal and Gothic metal.
Every Time I Die - Hot Damn!
Review by Josh Turner
By my own definition, music must contain melody and rhythm. The pace flutters while different elements work in tandem.
Ewigkeit - Radio Ixtlan
Review by Mike Korn
Here's a fascinating excursion into both the inner and outer limits of music. The inner limits, because Ewigkeit is completely the creation of one man, James Fogerty, known as "Mr. Fog".
Exodus - Tempo of the Damned
Review by Mike Korn
Ancient forces of evil are stirring in the deep places of the Earth. The long slumber of the elder giants is over and now they rise once again, preparing to crush all in their path.
Force of Evil - Force of Evil
Review by Mike Korn
When the subject of great heavy metal guitar duos comes up, Hank Shermann and Michael Denner will never be far from the lips of the knowing metalhead.
The Hidden Hand - Mother-Teacher-Destroyer
Review by Mike Korn
Mr. Scott Weinrich, known as "Wino" to friends and fans, has been a constant but low key presence on the American heavy music scene for close to three decades now.
Judas Priest - Metalogy Box Set
Review by Gary Hill
Judas Priest fanatics rejoice, the band have released the ultimate collection chronicling their entire career in this box set. The four CD set is a lasting tribute to this incredible band, and quite a well-done package at that.
Lacuna Coil - Comalies
Review by Gary Hill
Comalies is the third full-length album from the Italian Lacuna Coil. As on their other releases the band combine metal, Goth and pop with a sense of layering and style that is impeccable.
Lamb of God - Ashes of the Wake
Review by Mike Korn
The last few years have seen the rise of a new generation of American metal bands. The new blood has included Shadows Fall, God Forbid and without a doubt the most vicious of the bunch, Lamb of God.
Lunaris - Cyclic
Review by Mike Korn
I won't mince words here. Right off the bat, I will say that this record will almost certainly be my top pick for metal album of 2004, barring the release of something truly massive.
Otep - House of Secrets
Review by Gary Hill
A lot of extreme heavy music these days has little to do with art. Otep certainly is flying in the face of that.
Queensr├┐che - The Art of Live
Review by Josh Turner
The production is crisp. Their performance is spot on.
Saxon - Lionheart
Review by Mike Korn
The lineage of British heavy metal bands is a long and noble one, replete with legendary names like Led Zeppelin, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Motorhead, Black Sabbath and many more. Surely Saxon has distinguished itself well enough over the last 25 years or so to join this metallic Round Table.
Superjoint Ritual - A Lethal Dose of American Hatred
Review by Josh Turner
A Lethal Dose of American Hatred is Loud AND FAST. If you are into that sort of music, you will really like this album.
Unearth - The Oncoming Storm
Review by Arnold Hablewitz
In sharp contrast to the dying nu-metal genre, the metalcore scene tends to have an approach that focuses less on radio-happy hitmakers and more on unrelentingly heavy, death metal-influenced, and in some cases, superbly-gifted musicianship.
Various Artists - Fenriz Presents: The Best of Old School Black Metal
Review by Mike Korn
They say that rock and roll is the devil's music. Well, there are those definitely agree and who do their level best to make tunes that Old Nick would be proud of.
Non-Prog CD Reviews
Antigone Rising - Traveling Circus
Review by Gary Hill
If you are a fan of classic rock, this album should be of interest to you. Antigone Gone lays down their own blend that at times calls to mind such diverse acts as Cream, The Allman Brothers, Joan Jett, The Who, The Ramones, the Cranberries and even the Dixie Chicks.
The Bloody Lovelies - Some Truth and a Little Money
Review by Gary Hill
Does anyone remember Jellyfish? Those who liked that hook-laden, psychedelically-tinged rock band should be equally drawn to this group.
Alice Cooper - The Eyes of Alice Cooper
Review by Gary Hill
Alice Cooper has never been the most consistent artist. When he has it right he is brilliant.
Deep Purple - Burn 30th Anniversary Remaster
Review by Bruce Stringer
With the departure of vocalist Ian Gillan and bass player Roger Glover, the remaining members of Deep Purple enlisted the talents of Trapeze vocalist/ bassist Glenn Hughes to fill part of the void, however the role of vocalist continued to elude them.
Deep Purple - The Early Years
Review by Bruce Stringer
At just under 78 minutes, EMI's first CD compilation of the much-underrated Mark I line-up sees a bold collection taken from Deep Purple's first 3 LPs remastered with astounding clarity and a song collection that confirms the pioneering integrity of the fore fathers of British heavy metal.
Heart - Little Queen (Remaster)
Review by Gary Hill
Looking back at this disc in the modern day, without hearing the songs repeatedly on the radio, it is amazing how good the album is. Indeed, this one is truly one of the classic rock albums of the time.
Little Feat - Kickin' It At The Barn
Review by Gary Hill
Little Feat is one of those bands with a loyal following, much like the Dead, Phish and Jimmy Buffett. I am sure that that group of people waits with bated breath for each new release from the band.
Magna-Fi - Burn Out The Stars
Review by Gary Hill
I got this CD as part of my coverage of the bands that will be performing at Ozzfest. As much as I like heavy metal, there is usually a certain sameness to the vast majority of the bands that perform there.
Frank Marino - and Mahogany Rush - Real LIVE!
Review by Bruce Stringer
Almost 2 years ago MSJ published an exclusive interview with Canadian rock legend Frank Marino concerning his upcoming live album, which at that very time - literally - Frank was editing.
O. A. R. (Of A Revolution) - In Between Now And Then
Review by Gary Hill
O.A.R. is a band with a bit of an identity crisis, when it comes to their name. No, the band is not "Oar", but rather the name is an anacronym that stands for Of A Revolution.
Prince - Musicology
Review by Gary Hill
Prince was on top of the world for a long time, but then he made a lot of bad decisions that caused him to fall from grace. It all started when he changed his name to a symbol (it turned out later this was a ploy to get out of his contract with Warner).
Joe Satriani - Dreaming #11
Review by Josh Turner
When the topic of guitar shredders comes up the same names are usually mentioned. In the early years of progressive music, there was Robert Fripp.
The Tea Party - Seven Circles
Review by Bruce Stringer
According to Stuart Chatwood (The Tea Party's bassist / keyboardist), this CD contains a more palatable sound as opposed to "..all the weird stuff that no-one likes to hear".
Tower of Power - The Oakland Zone
Review by Gary Hill
In the day Tower of Power were one of the biggies in funk and soul music. This group nearly ruled supreme over the style.
Vanessa Williams - Silver and Gold
Review by Gary Hill
With Silver and Gold Vanessa Williams has put in a strong, if not entirely consistent holiday release. The disc has quite a few strong points, and very few songs that are weak.
DVD/Video Reviews
The Doors - Live in Europe 1968 DVD
Review by Gary Hill
Previously out of print and just reissued by Eagle Entertainment, this DVD is a study in contrasts. On the one hand, the performances here are magical, psychedelic Doors extravaganza.
Echolyn - Stars and Gardens Volume 4 DVD
Review by Gary Hill
I have an enormous amount of respect for this band. They are a dedicated and creative group with a devotion to their art.
Hawkwind - Out of The Shadows DVD
Review by Bruce Stringer
Of all the Hawkwind visual records this is the best quality and includes a classic stunning Rodney Matthews cover illustration and a slightly odd collection of songs. Performed at Newcastle's Opera House in the UK it was one of, if not the, last performance of Huw Lloyd-Langton with the group on this tour.
Lana Lane - Storybook - Tales From Europe and Japan DVD
Review by Gary Hill
As a reviewer and music fan, I get a chance to see a lot of concert videos, and I have to say they really did it right on this one. Looking strictly at the content provided, this is a first class product.
Tony Levin - Tales From The Widow Jane Mine VHS
Review by Gary Hill
When Levin chose to record an album in the unusual venue of an old cave, it seemed a very strange choice. This video chronicling the process of creating that music goes a long way to making it look pretty obvious.
Neal Morse - Testimony DVD
Review by Josh Turner
If there is one music DVD to get this year, I have the one for you. There is no doubt in my mind that I would choose Neal Morse: Testimony Live as DVD of the year.
Opeth - Lamentations DVD
Review by Mike Korn
There really is nobody quite like Opeth in the musical world today. Defying every expected convention, they are as truly free in their musical explorations as the most magnificent bird of prey. For confirmation, one need only watch "Lamentations", the new DVD from the Swedish non-conformists.
Queensr├┐che - The Art of Live DVD
Review by Gary Hill
With their newest live video, the Ryche have set loose a mixed bag on the fans. While the sound is very good on the recording, and much of this is newer material not yet to be recorded live, I have a big problem with sepiatone, washed out old movie look to the video.
Slayer - Still Reigning DVD
Review by Mike Korn
You can't escape a classic. That's what Slayer has learned over the last 15 years or so.
Cat Stevens - Majikat DVD
Review by Gary Hill
When Cat Stevens, at the time a superstar, embraced Islam, he changed his name and left behind his music career and lifestyle. His 1976 Majikat tour had been filmed, but with his withdrawal the tapes were left on the shelf until now.
Triumph - Live At The Us Festival DVD
Review by Bob Cooper
With the advent of DVD, bands are scrambling to the vaults in hopes of unearthing vintage shows, sometimes taken from home movies and even fan-submitted films and tapes, as the technology is now here that enables some interesting presentations.
Various Artists - Death Metal: A Documentary DVD
Review by Mike Korn
The mangy mutt of the rock world, death metal is usually considered horrid even by hardcore punk rockers. Heaven help those into mainstream music after getting a dose of Krisiun or Dying Fetus! The question that usually comes from the uninitiated is: is it music or is it garbage?
Birdsongs of the Mesozoic
Interview by Gary Hill
Interview with Ken Field of Birdsongs of the Mesozoic from 2004
Interview by Gary Hill
Interview with Klayton of Celldweller from 2004
Dimmu Borgir
Interview by Mike Korn
Interview with Silenoz of Dimmu Borgir from 2004
Interview by Mike Korn
Interview with Fred Estby of Dismember from 2004

Interview by Gary Hill
Interview with Brett Kull of Echolyn from 2004
Interview by Mike Korn
Interview with Alex Hellid of Entombed from 2004

Every Time I Die
Interview by Josh Turner
Interview with Keith Buckley of Every Time I Die from 2004

Interview by Mike Korn
Interview with Mr. Fog of Ewigkeit from 2004

Interview by Mike Korn
Interview with Digestor of Ghoul from 2004
Hammers of Misfortune
Interview by Mike Korn
Interview with John Cobbett of Hammers of Misfortune from 2004
The Heavils
Interview by Mike Korn
Interview with Mossy of The Heavils from 2004
The Hidden Hand
Interview by Mike Korn
Interview with Bruce Falkinburg of Hidden Hand from 2004
Steve Howe
Interview by Steve Alspach
Interview with Steve Howe, 2004

Interview by Mike Heitzman
Interview With Kittie's Morgan Lander from 2004
Lamb of God
Interview by Mike Korn
Interview with Willie Adler of Lamb of God from 2004
Lana Lane
Interview by Gary Hill
Interview with Lana Lane from 2004
Interview by Mike Korn
Interview with M of Lunaris from 2004

Interview by Steve Alspach
Interview with Steve Rothery of Marillion From 2004
Scott Mosher
Interview by Gary Hill
Interview with Scott Mosher From 2004

Interview by Josh Turner
Interview with Piero Delucia of Nightingale From 2004

Erik Norlander
Interview by Gary Hill
Interview with Erik Norlander From 2004
Interview by Gary Hill
Interview with Von Babasin of OnOffOn From 2004
Interview by Mike Korn
Interview with Otep From August 2004
Interview by Gary Hill
Interview with Otep From 2004
Poverty's No Crime
Interview by Josh Turner
Interview with Heiko Spaarmann of Poverty's No Crime From 2004

Jordan Rudess
Interview by Josh Turner
Interview with Jordan Rudess From 2004
Superjoint Ritual
Interview by Josh Turner
Interview with Jimmy Bower of Superjoint Ritual From 2004
Superjoint Ritual
Interview by Bob Cooper
Interview with Phil Anselmo of Superjoint Ritual From 2003

Glenn Tipton
Interview by Gary Hill
Interview with Glenn Tipton from 2004
Interview by Arnold Hablewitz
Interview with Ken Susi of Unearth From 2004

Concert Reviews
Atreyu - Live at Ozzfest, 2004, Alpine Valley, WI
Review by Arnold Hablewitz
Coming from the same school of hardcore-meets-metal as Bleeding Through (that being Orange County), but having a much more melodic and almost downright emo-inspired tinge to it, Atreyu is another band I waited in high hopes for. Their ictory debut "Suicide Notes and Butterfly Kisses" suffered from that all-too-common problem of all the right ingredients and not getting the best end result, but the new disc was most impressive on every level.
Black Label Society - Live at Ozzfest, 2004, Alpine Valley, WI
Review by Gary Hill
Black Label Society is, for the uninitiated, Ozzy guitarist Zakk Wylde's band/solo project. The sound of the group these days is somewhere between Ozzy and Guns and Roses. This mix of sounds made them one of the least homogenous bands on the bill, and this added to their appeal to this reviewer.
Black Sabbath - Live at Ozzfest, 2004, East Troy, WI
Review by Gary Hill
Ever since their original reunion with Ozzy I have made a point to see Black Sabbath whenever they came around. This time marks the 6th time I saw the lineup, and of all the shows, it was the weakest.
Alice Cooper - Live at Beloit Riverfest, July 9, 2004
Review by Mike Korn
I had seen Alice only a couple of years ago, while he was touring behind the "Dragontown" CD, and enjoyed the experience, so I didn't feel it was much of a risk to venture up into the land of cheese
and beer (Wisconsin) and check out the madman once more at Beloit Riverfest.
Darkest Hour - Live at Ozzfest, 2004, Alpine Valley, WI
Review by Josh Turner
Darkest Hour is an aerobic instructor's nightmare. You can forget Tae-Bo, Pilates, and even set aside your Atkin's lo-carb shakes.
Dimmu Borgir - Live at Ozzfest, 2004, Alpine Valley, WI
Review by Mike Korn
Pardon the pun, but Dimmu Borgir were always one of the "black sheep" at this year's Ozzfest. Despite some strong inroads made in the last couple of years, symphonic black metal from Norway is still off the radar for many U.S. metal fans, particularly the bare-chested, chin-bearded toughs who dig Black Label Society, Superjoint Ritual or Hatebreed.
Every Time I Die - Live at Ozzfest, 2004, Alpine Valley, WI
Review by Josh Turner
It is rare to see an act whose performance on stage can rival the quality of their studio work. It is even less frequent to see a band do better.
Judas Priest - Live at Ozzfest, 2004, Alpine Valley, WI
Review by Gary Hill
There was a day when Judas Priest were in my top two or three bands, and I had seen them more often than any other band. I originally saw them on the "British Steel" tour, and the last show with Rob Halford was the "Operation Rock and Roll" tour.
Lacuna Coil - Live at Ozzfest, 2004, Alpine Valley, WI
Review by Josh Turner
Something set them apart from the pack and her name is Cristina Scabbia. She had an incredible presence and a huge following. She was one of the few artists that people actually knew by name.
Lamb of God - Live at Ozzfest, 2004, Alpine Valley, WI
Review by Mike Korn
Lamb of God's status as one of the hottest rising metal acts was confirmed when they snagged a prime spot on Ozzfest's second stage this year, sharing the prestigious "non-rotating" slot with Hatebreed and Slipknot.
Magna-Fi - Live at Ozzfest, 2004, Alpine Valley, WI
Review by Gary Hill
After having listened to and very much enjoyed Magna-Fi's Burn Out The Stars album, I was looking forward to their Ozzfest appearance.
Marillion - Live in Chicago, October 2nd, 2004
Review by Steve Alspach
Marillion hit the Midwest for the first time in seven years as part of their world-wide "Marbles" tour. Before a sold-out crowd, the band played the songs from the single-CD version of the album as well as a history of the Steve Hogarth-era band.
Otep - Live at Ozzfest, 2004, Alpine Valley, WI
Review by Gary Hill
More pics from this concert available in our members area.
Slayer - Live at Ozzfest, 2004, Alpine Valley, WI
Review by Mike Korn
Pics from this show are available in our members area
Slayer - Live In Milwaukee, 2004
Review by Mike Korn
It's been a while since I've been in the venerable Eagle's Ballroom in Milwaukee. The site of many a Metalfest for me, this is just about the right size of venue for a brutal show such as this.
Superjoint Ritual - Live at Ozzfest, 2004, Alpine Valley, WI
Review by Gary Hill
More pics from this band available in our members area.
Unearth - Live at Ozzfest, 2004, Alpine Valley, WI
Review by Arnold Hablewitz
Despite missing the first few songs due to unforseen difficulties with security at the front gates, I did manage to catch a few songs from Unearth.
Yes - Live in Rosemont, IL, May 4th, 2004
Review by Gary Hill
The last couple Yes shows it seemed that the band was just getting better and better live. Probably a lot of this was due to heightened excitement and energy from the return of Rick Wakeman.
Book Reviews
Keith Emerson - Pictures of an Exhibitionist written by Keith Emerson
Review by Steve Alspach
There's a saying going around the internet that the purpose of life is not to arrive in Heaven all nice, neat and well-preserved, but rather to arrive sliding in a big cloud of dust, dirty and disheveled, and saying "Holy @#$%! What a ride!" If you get to Heaven and see a banged-up motorcycle and a big dent in St. Peter's gates, you'll know Keith Emerson made it.
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