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Cairo - Cairo CD (album) cover

CAIRO

Cairo

 

Symphonic Prog

3.38 | 83 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Trotsky
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Cairo's debut album proved a rather challenging listen for yours truly, as I was often impressed by the band but also had to endure lengthy spells of boredom. Not as heavy as the prog-metal brigade and nowhere near as diverse as the best 90s prog bands (and thus unlikely to appeal to fans of either), Cairo nonetheless did manage to produce some worthy music.

The album opens with a brief and forgettable instrumental Conception that segues into Season Of The Heart, which always reminds me of some of the more pleasant songs on Yes' Union album (The obvious influences of Yes, ELP and, to a lesser extent, Rush throughout the album are pretty hard to ignore). Despite the presence of a quartet of talented musicians (I'm not really fond of lead singer Bret Douglas' vocals which are a poor imitation of Queensryche's Geoff Tate's) the man who gradually emerges to take control of the Cairo sound is keyboardist Mark Robertson and he offers a few hints of his talents in Season Of The Heart.

My favourite Cairo song is Silent Winter, which has that same sort of stuttering keyboard string riff that made Led Zeppelin's Kashmir so distinctive. Despite some overplaying from guitarist Alex Fuhrman (many would argue that his mindless metal shredding sets the group back quite a bit), Robertson rescues the instrumental interlude in the middle of the song with some stunning playing that would not have been out of place on a Yes album of the 70s.

Despite it's awesome Emersonian keyboard passages, Between The Lines is a rather rambling song with a weak chorus, and the damage continues with the bland ballad World Divided, which nonetheless contains some glorious synth leads from Robertson (which you will only hear if you can stay awake through the first 5 minutes of the song).

The album concludes with the 22-minute opus Ruins At Avalon's Gate. The music for this song is written solely by Robertson and sees him throw in everything but the kitchen sink, reaching a level of pomp and bombast that even Keith Emerson would have been proud of. Moving glibly from Hammond organs to pianos to Moog-like synths, Robertson puts on a show that would have had him hailed as a genius if only Emerson hadn't charted similar waters more than two decades earlier. Despite its blatant antecents, it is still a great piece of progressive music that almost keeps this album's head above water. ... 45% on the MPV scale

Trotsky | 2/5 |

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