ProgressoR / Uzbekistan Progressive Rock Pages

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David Cross Band (UK) - 1992 - "The Big Picture" ******

Smashing masterpiece (for the '90s at least) of Classic Art Rock with a marked energetic drive. Powerful, speedy and masterly songs and instrumentals are followed here by more lyrical (but no less progressive) compositions only twice. The bass is made up of a powerful rhythm section and quite hard guitar riffs, and on this background Cross' violin demonstrates its eventful improvisations and arrangements. However, the leader doesn't block up the other musicians, and the violin passages either are followed by guitar or keyboards solos, or (more often) all do soloing simultaneously, thus bringing about a majestic polyphony. This very original music can hardly invoke any direct associations. content


David Cross Band - 1994 - "Testing to Destruction" ******

Stylistically and compositionally this is almost a copy of its predecessor. But, the melodies of surprising beauty that pierce the two first tracks (the first violent, the second diverse, rather ballad like) advance this disc to be the leader (IMO) of David Cross' discography. One of the strongest Progresive albums throughout the '80sand the '90s, to say the least. content


Dio (UK / USA) - 1993 - "Strange Highways" *****+

Unlike most of the other rock-veterans, Ronnie Dio have his own inner force for further improvement. His early very popular albums are looks very artless in comparison with the late more mature works. I dare say that "Strange Highways" is just an example for present-day Black Sabbath how it is necessary develop their own earliest structures. This album is a true model of modern Prog-Doom-Metal with that mix of magic power and intricacy, for example, of King Crimson. As usually happened after the absolutely non-commercial works, Dio was throwed out from major "Phonogram", and his new "home" is good German "SPV". content


Dream Theater (USA) - 1989 - "When Dream and Day Unite" *****

The first album from the one of the most popular Prog-Metal bands. Extremely heavy yet not without the intricacy of "When Dream...", it is the hardest production from Dream Theater. A weak moment of this work is a low audio quaity, and also their first soloist Charlie Dominici's vocal stylistics doesn't grow on me. He was replaced by James LaBrie next year, and justly so. Album was released on "Mechanic" label, a division of major "MCA". content


Dream Theater - 1992 - "Images and Words" *****+

With the second album the already famous DT joined the large-scale major lable "Atlantic". But, in spite of the great demand for the band's production, their following albums were released again by the divisions of "Warner"/"Atlantic" chief office ("Atco", "East-West"). Unlike the previous heavy and uncompromising album, this second one presents a big step towards the creation of their own indubitable mixture of melody, metal and progressivity. Quite apart from the sugary "Another Day" and "Surrounded", the album, on the whole,was composed and played incredibly well with all the hallmarks of Prog. And it's a pity, that the both sugary songs were not replaced by a beautiful 23-minute piece A Change of Seasons. But this song, which was written for THIS album, was appeared on the band's compilation of 1995 among the dubious live cover-versions of Titans' songs... content


Dream Theater - 1994 - "Awaken" ******

Their longest album (about 75 min), not so bright as "Images...", but the most diverse, complex and composite, difficult for quick comprehension. Of course, with such factors, it was rated not as high as its predecessor. In my opinion, "Awaken" is the band's finest hour of triumph in the fields of Progressive Metal. content


Dream Theater - 1997 - "Falling into Infinity" ***+

When Kevin Moore left, and Derek Sherinian joined Dream Theater (ex-Aice Cooper keyboardist), there isn't now a single Anglo-American! Today the band are: an Italian, a Chinese, a Jew, a Canadian French, and an Armenian. Maybe it was designed so purposely, though if the technical level of Sherinian is good enough for Alice Cooper, it seems it isn't here the right place for him. The album contains 74 minutes of mediocre Protoprog songs, sometimes open poppy, and to make things worse the Japanese added another 10 minutes of MINI-CD with two poor pop-bonus tracks. It is very possible, that Neo-Prog-Metal performed on this album with typical "American" commercial sound, we'll see even in the "Bilboard" charts. content


Dream Theater - 1999 - "Scenes from the memories" ******

Seems the commercial stuff of 1997 was simply a mistake of the band, and what was it to keep apace the obviously weak (ex) keyboardist Derek Sherinian, that former "lamp" (the holder of the keyboard background sound) of Alice Cooper. With their new album the band has fully restored their good reputation. As for me, the new album, together with "Images and Words" and "Awaken", is one of the strongest in their discography. content


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ProgressoR / Uzbekistan Progressive Rock Pages


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