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PROG 2010: A Decade of Progressive Rock & Metal

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    Posted: 21 Jul 2011 at 2:10pm
I reviewed this book over at Sea of Tranquility, and figured I'd share it over here... Smile

Hash, Tommy and Gordon, Keith: Prog 2010 - A Decade of Progressive Rock and Metal 2001-2010

Tommy Hash and Rev. Keith A. Gordon are no strangers to rock music journalism. Nashville-based Tommy Hash is known for his work in the website Ytsejam.com and the Melodic Rock Fanzine over the last decade-plus, and Rev. Keith A. Gordon is known for his four decades of experience writing for Blurt Magazine, All Music, Creem, Harp Magazine, and Big O Magazine, among others. The two prestigious critics have recently teamed together to write Prog 2010 - a highly informative book featuring interviews, reviews, and detailed essays about the most recent decade of progressive rock. Prog 2010 also spends some time talking about 70's progressive rock through "The Golden Age" essay, which provides as a great introduction into the most recent decade of prog rock. People who are looking to learn about more about prog rock and metal in the 21st century should definitely check out this well-written book!

Prog 2010, in addition to shining light on some more unknown musicians, interviews quite a few famous prog stars in its "Artist Interviews" section. People like Andy Kuntz (Abydos, Vanden Plas), John Mitchell (Arena), Devon Graves (Deadsoul Tribe, Psychotic Waltz), Charlie Dominici (Dream Theater, Dominici), Roine Stolt (The Flower Kings), Steve Hackett (Genesis), Martin Orford (IQ), Pete Trewavas (Marillion, Kino), Neal Morse (Spock's Beard), Steven Wilson (Porcupine Tree), Klaus Schulze, Devin Townsend (Strapping Young Lad), and many others are featured in the book - very interesting reads for sure! The book also contains a few interviews that, while certainly interesting, don't exactly fit in the context of the book. Andy Dawson from Crazy Lixx (a glam rock band), Janne Starks from Locomotive Breath (a power metal band), Lars Eric Mattsson (a neo-classical guitarist), Torben Lysholm from Pangea (a melodic rock band), Thomen Staugh from Savage Circus (a power metal band), and Harry James from Thunder (a melodic hard rock band) also all provide interviews - interesting choices for a progressive rock book! Of course, being a huge metal fan, I enjoyed reading these interviews, but I can't say that they'll hold very much interest for prog's core fanbase.

Another large chunk of Prog 2010's content is based on CD and DVD reviews, where many key albums from the last decade are analyzed through thoughtful and well-written journalism courtesy of Hash and Gordon. The book also features a few reviews of major reissues over the decade (from acts like Klaus Schulze, King Crimson, Gentle Giant, Spock's Beard), and that should also hold quite a bit of interest. Reading these guys' takes on modern classics like Pain of Salvation's Be, Neal Morse's Testimony, Frogg Cafe's Bateless Edge, Devin Townsend's Ziltoid, Transatlantic's The Whirlwind, and many more makes this a very fun and informative read for any prog fan!

One thing I noticed while reading the book were that there are quite a few typos (particularly in the interviews section) as well as some printing errors. Neither of these things are major detriments, and they may be entirely exclusive to my promotional copy, but it's worth pointing out regardless.

All in all, Prog 2010 is an excellent read for anybody with an interest in the modern progressive rock scene. There's nothing better than experiencing the genre through the eyes of two of the rock music's most accomplished journalists, and Prog 2010 just reeks of professionalism and class! This is a highly recommended purchase that I've had a fantastic time reading, and I think most fans would feel the same way. This book is 387 pages of well-written music journalism, and even though it may contain a few sections that aren't of interest to its intended audience, this is a largely excellent read for any progressive rock fan. For $17.99 from Excitable Press, this one may as well be labeled an essential purchase!


(http://seaoftranquility.org/reviews.php?op=showcontent&id=11179)

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Stooge Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Jul 2011 at 9:32pm
Nice writeup!  It sounds like an interesting book.

Do the reviews in this book actually have star/numeric ratings or are they just descriptive?  I used to have a few books in my collection written by Canadian rock/metal author Martin Popoff, and always found his reviews to be pretty interesting even though I'd disagree with him many times.

Do you have to order it, or can it be found in book stores?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote J-Man Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Jul 2011 at 6:21pm
Originally posted by Stooge Stooge wrote:

Nice writeup!  It sounds like an interesting book.

Do the reviews in this book actually have star/numeric ratings or are they just descriptive?  I used to have a few books in my collection written by Canadian rock/metal author Martin Popoff, and always found his reviews to be pretty interesting even though I'd disagree with him many times.

Do you have to order it, or can it be found in book stores?

Thanks for the feedback Dan! Smile

The album reviews do not have star/numeric ratings, but they aren't entirely descriptive. This book only contains reviews of what the authors consider to be the decade's essential albums, so they are generally "praise reviews". Both of the authors are extremely skillful journalists, though, and manage to keep the writing fresh and inspired throughout all of the reviews. It's interesting to hear their insight into some of the decade's most important progressive rock/metal albums. 

I'm not sure if this one can be found in stores.... Ermm I do know that in can be ordered online from Excitable Press, however. Thumbs Up
Check out my YouTube channel! http://www.youtube.com/user/demiseoftime
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