"Too Late to Hate"
By Dark Starr
This new disc from the legendary 70s rockers probably wouldn't land under prog rock on its own strengths. Given the fact that a lot of their output is proggier than this, and that they were sort of proto-prog anyway, I'll nudge it far enough over to make that heading. This is cool hard rock with some songs that really shine brightly. Nothing here is weak, but some pieces eclipse others.
Mainstream rock is merged with prog opening " Demolition Man." It is a catchy AOR based tune that is very cool. "Jokers & Fools" is a fast paced rocker and very classy stuff. Yes, it has prog in the mix. In a lot of ways it reminds me of Uriah Heep, too.
I really love "When Children Cry." There is a lot of epic metal built into this piece. It's evocative and very powerful. Yes, there is still a lot of prog here. This is cool stuff. It's one of my favorite pieces.
"Straight for the Heart" is another AOR rocker with some prog in the mix. There is a sound at the start of this (and later) that sounds like Pacman to me. I really love the rocking groove on " Tell Me Why." It's a killer tune that just plain works. It's part prog, part mainstream hard rock and all effective. The main riff is just so rubbery and meaty. The overlayers (especially the piano) bring the proggier things to the proceedings.
Hard rocking, "Don't Talk to Strangers" is another with a great riff driving it. It's a bit less on the proggy side, but there are moments. The chorus is so classic hard rock anthem that it's scary.
The opening section of " I Will Be There" is very prog rock oriented. There is a Uriah Heep meets epic metal and AOR prog feeling to this cut. It's crunchy. The vocal performance is very powerful. The cut has some great shifts and turns. It's one of my favorites here, really.
There is a lot of blues in the mix on " This Time." It's a hard rocking balladic type cut. Packed with emotion, this is soulful and strong. While it's still the AOR side of the equation, "Tears" is much more purely prog rock oriented. I really dig the keyboard solo segment on this thing. Both world music and fusion are included in small dosages at the end.
Fast paced and furious, heavy metal and AOR prog merge on the screamer titled "Sea of Promises." I love this tune. It's one of the strongest here and has a great riff driving it. I love the keyboard soloing on this thing, too.
While keys open " Brothers Without a Name," it powers to a guitar based rocker from there. It's another killer cut that's built on prog, metal and hard rock. "When You're Gone" is a short stripped back live cut. There is some instrumental music at the end of it as the crowd is going nuts, but I think that's canned.
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