Dr. Music

Review of the Week (12/02/07) MySpace Discovery Zone

Here we go, another great prog band from America’s Dairyland. I like to refer to these bands as the Wisconsin Prog Mob. Bands like Dimension X, Kopecky, and Battlestar Cadillactica have all been a part of a fertile soil of tremendous talent in the state of Wisconsin, particularly in the progressive rock and metal genres. With their own brand of hard rocking compositions, it’s a difficult task trying to describe their sound. I like to think of it as King’s X, Fates Warning, and Dream Theater hanging out at a King Crimson show. The band blends all of these influences into a delectable treat that is brimming with originality and expertise. The basic King Crimson dependability is the thread in which Strange Land has used to weave their canvas, and the King’s X influence seems to be the primer for almost all of the tracks from their 2004 release, “Blaming Season.” The heavy bass arrangements and the powerful upfront vocals are a driving force here; with guitar solos and complex drum charts that reflect the Dream Theater-type of partiality.

Listening to “Obliquity,” the opening track from “Blaming Season,” I am immediately reminded of King’s X, but as the tune moves swiftly on I start to hear so many different reflections. Much the same can be said for the disc as a whole. From the wicked guitar solo that ends “In A Mind” and the abrupt time change that takes place in “Dear Helena,” to the Queensryche-like conceptual spirit of “Below The After,” Strange Land has become an original amalgamation of progressive wonderment.

Being just a few hours drive from many of these Wisconsin prog band gigs, I feel like I should fire up the vehicle on a nightly basis to delve deeper into this burgeoning scene. But, unfortunately, with a wife, a job, kids, and a sky rocketing gas market, I have yet to make my voyage into this progressive landscape. I can tell you one thing, though. With Strange Land playing gigs with talented acts like Kopecky and Dimension X on a consistent basis, it won’t be long before Strange Land will be coming to me - as part of a world tour.