By Dark Starr

This new CD is an intriguing one. It's definitely progressive rock, but of the hard rocking, guitar oriented modern variety. The mix of sounds and textures is cool, and the whole multi-part suite is a definite focal point of the set. I can hear a number of different things at play here, but it all merges into something that's unique and interesting from start to finish.

"Have No Heart" comes in gradually, and works outward gradually. This fires out into rocking zones after a time. It has a cool modern, edgy prog sound. It's fierce and yet melodic and so tasty. "Insensate" is perhaps a bit more direct. It's a powerhouse tune that really rocks. The thing is, there is a cool instrumental exploration later that works through space music, fusion and a lot more. It's so cool and rather soaring.

We get another powerhouse hard-edged prog tune on the number titled "Larger Concern." It has some cool shifts and turns in the mix. "Bleak" is fiercer and meaner. It still has some proggy shifts and turns, though. There are more soaring movements later in the run of this track. With "Mental Blindness" we get a mellower and more melodic piece. It builds gradually upward.

Next up is a multi-part suite titled "Lost" with each track bearing the "part x" subtitle. "Part I" comes in like a real powerhouse. It's fast-paced, crunchy and yet very proggy. Starting mellow, trippy and instrumental, "Part II" works to more of a prog ballad approach for the entrance of the vocals. I'm reminded a little of some of RUSH's mellower sections from their prog period, particularly in terms of the musical arrangement. Think "Hemispheres." "Part III" is tastefully strange. There are jazzy stylings and operatic vocals. It sounds rather like a horror movie soundtrack to me in some ways. More of a straightforward, driving concept is at the heart of the fourth part of the suite. The piece is still decidedly prog based, It's one of my favorite pieces here, actually. "Part V" comes in mellower, and has a rather balladic approach as the vocals start.

More of a mainstream rock song, the closing "Shine On" still has enough prog elements at play to elevate it beyond that. It's a solid tune that seems to serve as a grounding moment for the disc.