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Stride - Music Machine CD (album) cover



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4 stars "Music Machine" is STRIDE's first studio album, and an all instrumental release. This is also the album that made me an instant STRIDE fan.

Music machine is appropriately titled, as it is one well oiled machine indeed. The focus of this album is the masterful guitar work of Joel Gregoire, and to a lesser extent, the key shredding of Rick Flores, but neither of these accomplished musicians overwhelms the project. There is highly impressive solo work by both Gregoire and Flores, at intervals appropriate to make up for the lack of vocals in these pieces of music, but there is little, if any grandstanding. These songs are definitely "whole band" efforts. Even on the few tracks where the guitar work is more pronounced; the rest of the band is always a significant presence.

Any fan of John Petrucci's guitar work will be a quick fan of Joel Gregoire's. Even by Gregoire's own admission, his playing is very similar to Petrucci's; a fact that seems to surprise him. Oddly enough Petrucci is not listed among Gregoire's many influences, and STRIDE has actually been playing their brand of music since before Dream Theater was formed.

There are several instances while listening to the various tracks on this CD where I have picked up on a "tip of the hat" to one or another of STRIDE's influences, but those moments are fleeting and appear to be an effort to pay homage to those that helped mold the band's musical minds.

The band is very tight, and the songs well composed. From the hard rocking pace of "Borrowed Time" and "Laboratory", to the low key, emotionally charged tones of "Travesty," to the melodious acoustical presentation of "Elevated;" each track on this album is a feast for the ears.

Some of the bands music may be heard on their web site at

Report this review (#43387)
Posted Thursday, August 18, 2005 | Review Permalink
Prog Leviathan
3 stars Nicely executed instrumental noodle-metal of the most derivative variety, filled with Dream Theater-isms at every downbeat. While there may not be anything original contained within these songs, the band's energy and talent for writing lightning fast melodies and genuinely uplifting songs will more than likely please fans of the big boys in the genre. As far as purely instrumental albums go, Music Machine is a fine mix of tempos (but come on-- most of them are fast), and offers some tasty lead playing by Gregoire and Flores.

You probably won't remember any of the hooks or riffs after listening, but if you like the (better) instrumental gymnastics of Liquid Tension Experiment-- give Stride a listen.

Songwriting: 3 Instrumental Performances: 4 Lyrics/Vocals: NA Style/Emotion/Replay: 2

Report this review (#164397)
Posted Thursday, March 20, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars Stride from USA must be considered one of the most unnoticed prog metal bands ever. Their debute released in 2001 named Music machine is for sure one of the best debuts of all times in prog metal field. The album is all instrumental leading by top notch ex Helstar guitarist Joel Gregoire, who put his tradmarck deep and clear on this album. His fiery guitar tonein combination with inspired complicated chops of keybordist Rick Flores, makes from this Music machine a real worth listning. The music is as I said instrumental prog metal, melting complicated parts with dense arrangements with more mellow where the guitar and keybords shines from start to finish. I like a lot here that the band concentraiting on songwriting not only on endless noodlings. The influences can be heared from DT, Tony McAlpine, Liquid Tension Experiment. and this type of prog metal. There are some fascinating passages as on opening Barrow time, Carousel or the ending Eargasm an eargasmic pieces indeed. For me a winner from all sides, recommended for all prog metal fans and not only. Very well structuraed, tight in musicinship and inventive in same time. 4.5 stars for sure. Killer

Report this review (#1153249)
Posted Tuesday, March 25, 2014 | Review Permalink
4 stars 4,5 stars !!! I listened all three albums from North-American band STRIDE, and I consider this first work " Miusic Machine" slightly superior than the posterior albums ( however, I like much from the others). The reason is simple ... I think which this one are shows a more "digestible" prog-metal form with more beautiful melodies ( listen track 3 "Travesty" a great ballad with a fantastic and "bucolic" guitar) and more richness in influences . this influences sometimes runs out of the main stream of progressive metal ( as for instance Dream Theather's style), a good example is the track 4 "Boogie Man" a clear Jeff Beck influence. Another example is the track 7 "Moonroof" whit a acoustic guitar accompaniment and this "party" sonorous "landscape". In summary, is very difficult to me detach any track. Besides , the musicians are fantastic. My rate is 4 stars !!!
Report this review (#1589861)
Posted Friday, July 22, 2016 | Review Permalink

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