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April 2009 - Issue 75
Progressive Rock CD Reviews
Aaen Anima - Aaen Anima 2 EP 1 & 2
Review by Bruce Stringer
Founded in 2002, this exciting Czech / Slovak musical unit covers a sparse field in their recent re-issue of Aaen Anima 2, a double CD EP of haunting avant-garde and progressive doom epics.
Bodragaz - Awaken
Review by Gary Hill
I’m sure there are plenty of people who would say this disc belongs in the heavy metal category.
Kate Bush - The Whole Story
Review by Gary Hill
As is generally the case with compilation discs, this is sort of a mixed bag of tricks.
Coyote Poets of the Universe - Callin' You Home
Review by Gary Hill
This is certainly not progressive rock in the traditional sense.
Dream Theater - When Dream and Day Unite
Review by Gary Hill
This was the debut disc from Dream Theater and the first album from them I ever had.
Escherbach - Cycles
Review by Gary Hill
Escherbach have produced quite an intriguing disc with Cycles.
Flash - Flash
Review by Gary Hill
This was the first studio album from Peter Banks’ post Yes band Flash.
Flash - Out of Our Hands
Review by Gary Hill
The final studio disc from Flash, this is probably the least consistent of their albums.
Fractal - Sequitur
Review by Gary Hill
This is an intriguing disc that melds newer prog stylings (think Radiohead and Porcupine Tree) with modern King Crimson and older stuff like Kansas, Pink Floyd and Yes.
John Orr Franklin - Transformation
Review by Gary Hill
John Orr Franklin regards his music as progressive rock, and I agree. It seems that many prog purists would be likely to disagree, though.
Rob Fried - Wind Song
Review by Gary Hill
Progressive rock is an elusive beast to pin down, particularly when it gets into fusion.
Gunslinger - Earthquake in E Minor
Review by Gary Hill
This nearly went into heavy metal. Certainly it could. There are two reasons it didn’t.
Pontus H.W. Gunve - Movements
Review by Gary Hill
Those who like melodic instrumental progressive rock will enjoy this.
Hawkwind - Church of Hawkwind
Review by Gary Hill
This is a good disc, but not a great one.
Hawkwind - Sonic Attack
Review by Gary Hill
Many probably think this disc is another Hawkwind compilation. It’s not, though.
Jethro Tull - Benefit
Review by Gary Hill
This early Tull album is a good one.
Jethro Tull - Broadsword and the Beast
Review by Gary Hill
This album is sort of a connecting piece in the Jethro Tull legacy.
Jon And Vangelis - Page of Life
Review by Gary Hill
This album never got the publicity that some of the other Jon and Vangelis discs did.
Kitaro - Silk Road Volume 1
Review by Gary Hill
The music of Kitaro is often lumped into the new age category. Certainly that is a genre title that fits.
Latent Anxiety - Perception
Review by Gary Hill
Yeah, I know the prog purists will certainly say this doesn’t belong under prog rock.
Latent Anxiety - Sensation
Review by Gary Hill
This might not be the most obvious choice for prog rock, but personally I think these guys fit.
Patrick Moraz - Change of Space
Review by Gary Hill
There are many who remember Patrick Moraz for his work in Yes.
The Keith Reid Project - The Common Thread
Review by Gary Hill
Make no mistake, I don’t consider this to be a prog rock album.
Return To Forever - Returns
Review by Gary Hill
When you’ve got a bunch of musicians this talented, what can you really say?
Dudley Saunders - The Emergency Lane
Review by Gary Hill
I know, I know – many of you will say this isn’t progressive rock.
The Season Standard - Squeeze Me Ahead of Line
Review by Gary Hill
Part of me loves this album. All of me does on paper.
Tony Senatore - Holyland
Review by Gary Hill
Tony Senatore is one of an elite group of bassists who play the 12 string version of the instrument. This CD showcases a number of tracks featuring that instrument.
Derek Sherinian - Molecular Heinosity
Review by Gary Hill
I’ve been a big fan of Derek Sherinian for years and it seems like every album he does is a climb above the one that preceded it.
The Source (California, USA) - Prickly Pear
Review by Gary Hill
I’m a big fan of The Source’s debut disc. It combined catchy Beatles-like pop with progressive rock to create an intriguing soundscape.
Tomorrow's Eve - The Tower
Review by Josh Turner
Their icon is the kind of illustration you’d expect to see in a Dan Brown novel.
Tuner - Muut: Live in Estonia 2007
Review by Gary Hill
This live recording of Trey Gunn’s grouping Tuner is quite intriguing.
Rick Wakeman - Romance of the Victorian Age
Review by Gary Hill
This might not be one of the better known Wakeman solo releases, but it’s actually one of the strongest.
Yes - Close to the Edge – Remastered and Expanded
Review by Gary Hill
I absolutely love Yes’ Close to the Edge and I’ve reviewed the main album before.
Yes - Symphonic Live
Review by Gary Hill
This was released on DVD before, but they have just now chosen to let it lose in CD format.
Frank Zappa - Them or Us
Review by Gary Hill
This is not your standard Zappa disc. Of course, what is that really? .
Metal/Prog Metal CD Reviews
Black Sabbath - Master of Reality
Review by Gary Hill
Black Sabbath’s third album is often overlooked. The first two were really defining a sound so they get more of the limelight.
Burn Halo - Burn Halo
Review by Travis Jensen
“Diversity” is the word that I would use to describe Burn Halo, the self-titled debut album fronted by former Eighteen Visions singer James Hart, released on March 10 through Rawkhead Records.
Leif Edling - Songs of Torment, Songs of Joy
Review by Mike Korn
Leif Edling has got to be one depressed dude.
Exciter - Exciter
Review by Gary Hill
This is a reissue of Exciter’s 1988 eponymous disc.
Twisted Sister - Live At The Astoria
Review by Greg Olma
Twisted Sister can still cut it live and here in my grubby hands is proof.
Non-Prog CD Reviews
Eighteen Wheels Burning - Tweak'd Out, Strung Up & Redlined
Review by Gary Hill
The whole power trio with a bluesy sort of hard rock texture is big in certain circles these days.
Five AM - Raise The Sun
Review by Gary Hill
This is not the most original band I’ve heard. They are very good, though.
Carla Lynne Hall - Supernova
Review by Gary Hill
This is an enchanting album. There’s something very honest and endearing about Hall’s vocals and lyrics and the music she creates to help her tell her tale is wonderful.
Katie Herzig - Weightless
Review by Gary Hill
This is a good CD that showcases an artist who is hard to classify.
Sarah Hethcoat - Nobody Likes A Bully
Review by Gary Hill
This EP from Sarah Hethcoat shows an artist who takes a number of varying influences and weaves them into a sound that is all hers.
Last November - Over The Top or Under the Weather
Review by Gary Hill
Those who have read a lot of my reviews will know that I’m a hard sell on emo.
Gordon Lightfoot - Complete Greatest Hits
Review by Gary Hill
When I saw that Gordon Lightfoot was coming to town it took me back to my childhood.
Phil Lomac - Phil Lomac
Review by Gary Hill
Mr. Lomac has given us an album full of strong songs. That doesn’t mean this is a strong disc, though.
Mama's Cookin' - Mama’s Cookin’
Review by Gary Hill
Mama’s Cookin’ has a catchy retro rock texture with hip hop elements added to the recipe.
Bill Mumy - Circular
Review by Gary Hill
The name Bill Mumy might be familiar to you.
Nashville Pussy - From Hell to Texas
Review by Gary Hill
The music here is raw. It’s often tongue in cheek – or at least I hope so.
Ted Nugent - Nugent
Review by Gary Hill
As Ted Nugent albums go this is pretty average. That said, an average Nugent album is still pretty darned good.
Ted Nugent - Penetrator
Review by Gary Hill
This disc seems to find Ted Nugent in the middle of identity crisis. Originally released in the 1980’s, it’s one of a series of newly reissued albums.
Ted Nugent - Spirit of the Wild
Review by Gary Hill
I like this CD a lot. It’s got a lot of classic Ted Nugent sound, but there’s some chances to stretch out a bit, too.
Parlour Steps - Ambiguoso
Review by Gary Hill
With Ambiguoso Parlour Steps have given us a disc that’s catchy and yet unusual.
Styx - Crystal Ball
Review by Gary Hill
Crystal Ball was the first Styx album to feature Tommy Shaw and his sound and influence can be heard here – at least at times. In many ways, though, this album feels a lot like its predecessor Equinox.
John Taglieri - Wide Awake & Dreaming
Review by Gary Hill
The music on this disc is competent. There are a couple moments of brilliance.
Thin Lizzy - Still Dangerous: Live at Tower Theatre Philadelphia 1977
Review by Gary Hill
This is a live recording of Thin Lizzy from back in the glory days.
Van Halen - Fair Warning
Review by Gary Hill
It seems to me this disc never got the attention it deserved. By the time this came out I had pretty much given up on Van Halen because their releases were inconsistent.
Sarah VonderHaar - Are You Listening Now?
Review by Gary Hill
You have to give a lot of kudos to a person for having the finger in a lot of artistic pots.
Joanna Wang - Start From Here
Review by Bruce Stringer
The modern Chinese musical renaissance, which began with the likes of Wu Bai and Faye Wong in the mid-1990s, has spread its influence to the further corners of the globe with incredible results.
Wyldsky - Wyldsky
Review by Gary Hill
Fans of classic hard rock should find plenty to like here. This has a lot in common with the music of the 1970’s, yet it’s modern.
DVD/Video Reviews
Count Basie - and His Orchestra – Live in Berlin & Stockholm 1968 DVD
Review by Gary Hill
Count Basie was certainly a legend of jazz. Perhaps “Legend” isn’t a strong enough word. 
Jeff Beck - Performing This Week – Live at Ronnie Scott’s DVD
Review by Gary Hill
You know, you hear a lot of people rave about how incredible a guitarist Jeff Beck is.
Al Di Meola - One Of These Nights DVD
Review by Josh Turner
Slated by many to be one of the greatest guitarists ever, he’s definitely a hall-of-famer that tops countless peoples’ lists.
Fido Plays Zappa - Live On The Dental Floss DVD
Review by Gary Hill
So, you don’t think humor belongs in music? Then shut this thing off.
Rory Gallagher - Live in Cork DVD
Review by Gary Hill
I remember the days when guitar guys like Rory Gallagher were all over the place.
Glass Hammer - Live at Belmont DVD
Review by Josh Turner
This is the true definition of progressive rock in the modern era.
Coleman Hawkins - In Europe DVD
Review by Gary Hill
Coleman Hawkins was a real innovator in jazz music.
Travis Larson Band - Rock Show DVD
Review by Josh Turner
If you’re a fan of fusion, this gets right to the core of that zingy genre.
David Sanborn - Live at Montreux 1984 DVD
Review by Gary Hill
These Live In Montreux DVD’s are just plain great.
Tony Senatore - A 12 String Bass X-Ploration DVD
Review by Gary Hill
Which part of this DVD is your favorite will depend on your interests.
Wayne Shorter - Live at Montreux 1996 DVD
Review by Gary Hill
I find it interesting that this DVD captures a Montreux appearance for Wayne Shorter from 1996.
Vanilla Fudge - When Two Worlds Collide DVD
Review by Gary Hill
The two worlds referenced in the title are those of rock band and orchestra.
Various Artists - From the Basement DVD
Review by Gary Hill
What an interesting set this is.
Bible of the Devil
Interview by Mike Korn
Interview with Mark Hoffman of Bible of the Devil From 2009
Mumiy Troll
Interview by Scott Montgomery
Interview with Ilya Lagutenko of Mumiy Troll from 2009
Interview by Mike Korn
Interview with Pro-Pain's Tom Klimchuck From 2009
Wendy and Lisa
Interview by Gary Hill
Interview with Wendy and Lisa from 2009
Concert Reviews
Jeff Beck - Live in Adelaide, South Australia, January, 2009
Review by Bruce Stringer
With simmering weather conditions, the small horde of Jeff Beck fans gradually filled the Thebarton Theatre for the second of Beck’s shows for this tour, which was the first in Australia since January 1977.
Burn Halo - Live in Chicago, IL in February 2009
Review by Travis Jensen
The sights and sounds of a live metal show is certainly enough to get the blood flowing for just about any able-bodied youth.
Gordon Lightfoot - Live in Rockford, IL, March 2009
Review by Gary Hill
Gordon Lightfoot and his talented band made their way through a big chunk...
Lots more (larger) pics from this concert available in two galleries in the members' area
Mötley Crüe - Live in Rockford, IL, February 2009
Review by Josh Turner
These guys aren’t musicians. They’re rock stars.
Mumiy Troll - Live in Denver, Colorado in February 2009
Review by Scott Montgomery
I never knew there were so many Russians in Denver until the popular musical juggernaut known as Mumiy Troll brought their unique rocapops sound to town on February 2, 2009.
Book Reviews
Bill Bruford - Bill Bruford – The Autobiography written by Bill Bruford
Review by Gary Hill
I’m a big fan of Bill Bruford. I always have been since his days in Yes.
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