Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography


The Underground Railroad

Eclectic Prog

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

The Underground Railroad The Origin Of Consciousness album cover
3.43 | 28 ratings | 7 reviews | 14% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

Write a review
from partners
Studio Album, released in 2005

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Julian Ur (7:45)
2. Julian I (2:37)
3. Love Is a Vagabond King (10:40)
4. Halo (8:21)
5. The Canal at Sunset (4:17)
6. Metaphor (2:59)
7. Creeper (The Doorman Pt. 2) (13:26)
8. Julian II (8:54)

Total Time: 59:02

Line-up / Musicians

- Bill Pohl / guitars, vocals
- John Livingston / drums
- Kurt Rongey / keyboards, vocals
- Matt Hembree / bass

Releases information

CD Progress Records (2005)

Thanks to danbo for the addition
and to ProgLucky for the last updates
Edit this entry

Buy THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD The Origin Of Consciousness Music

Origin of ConsciousnessOrigin of Consciousness
CD Baby 2005
$101.85 (used)

More places to buy THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD music online Buy THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD & Prog Rock Digital Music online:

THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD The Origin Of Consciousness ratings distribution

(28 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(14%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(57%)
Good, but non-essential (18%)
Collectors/fans only (7%)
Poor. Only for completionists (4%)

THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD The Origin Of Consciousness reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Dan Bobrowski
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars I haven't heard the previous UR album, Through and Through, so I didn't know what to expect, except that Bill Pohl has a touch of Holdsworth in his guitar style. Well, I always find that intriguing. Bill Pohl does have a lot of Holdsworth in his bag of tricks. That doesn't detract from what my ears are telling me though. Kurt Rongey shifts deftly between piano and synth, swirling out flurries of ascending and descending patterns. Drummer John Livingston is powerful and dynamic, has great tone and compliments the strong bass playing of Matt Hembree. This is a very tight band, playing complex progressive rock with some major fusion influence. The vocals are good, at least much better than other bands playing this style of music. Some of the harmony vocals remind of Echolyn. The lyrics are pretty far out, in the Jon Anderson tradition. I've read them a few times and without some kind of guidance from the author they could contain multiple meanings. In this context, the ambiguity fits and doesn't detract from the overall pleasurable experience.

As I sit and listen whilst typing this review, I'm hearing what can only be described as Echolyn with Scott McGill sitting in to provide additional pyrotechnics. There is a similarity of sound, especially when the whole band builds mountainous crescendoes of instrumental power. Missing are the acoustic guitars and memorable melodies that make Echolyn the significant group that they are. Not to say this music is without melody, but simply a lack of melodic hooks that get stuck in your head. Instrumentally, these guys are ferocious and not lacking for ideas, but maybe they are putting too many ideas into the mix and not letting the melodies take hold and gel. Still, I can't help but be intrigued by the cohesion of the bands sound. This one calls for more than casual listening and since they are from Texas, I'm sure they'd want the listeners to swill some fine brew to better appreciate their brand of American Prog.

I would recommend The Underground Railroad to fans of Echolyn, Frogg Cafe, Land of Chocolate, Finneus Gauge, Thieves Kitchen, Dark Aether Project, Djam Karet and Thirteen of Everything. A complex harmonic undertaking. Raise a glass and enjoy!

Review by Prog-jester
1 stars I rarely bash modern bands, since I know how it’s hard to make a record and release album. But THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD did nothing to please my tastes; hence this is purely egoistic point of view :) OK, these guys didn’t care for throwing at least one memorable melody in their album, but they overfilled it with top-notch playing and head-crashing signatures. Their Jazz and even Avant leanings are obvious, so I guess they are simply misplaced in Symphonic Prog genre. Or is this Symphonic MathRock? Anyway, if Prog for you is a good playing first and complexity for its own sake second, get this one. If you care for emotions, melodies, enjoyable moments etc, forget about these things for an hour.
Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars When I first listened to this album, the opening track reminds me to jazz music like those played by Chick Corea especially with the piano work. As the music moves along, I remember Echolyn as having similar style with the opening track "Julian Ur" (7:45). It's because of Chick Corea music is typically has no vocal except some with Flora Purim. This album by Underground Railroad has vocal line which is sung similar with Echolyn. The music in fact turns into slower tempo with keyboard solo, guitar solo and vocal line. The guitar work is really stunning. It then flows into faster tempo with next track "Julian I" (2:37) which reminds me to the combination of Weather Report and Brand X. The keyboard work at the background is really nice, especially when it's followed with guitar solo. It's quite unique in terms of composition because the rhythm section comprises heavy riffs like any typical rock / metal music but the melody line (through vocal) is jazzy in nature. "Love Is a Vagabond King" (10:40) provides great combination of piano, guitar and dynamic drums at the opening, followed with guitar solo in the vein of Allan Holdsworth. The song features nice breaks among transition pieces through nice piano work. I personally enjoy the exploration of guitar solo in the middle of the track which has a combined style of Allan Holdsworth and Jeff Beck. This is one of excellent songs this album offers.

"Halo" (8:21) opens the music with a combined work of keyboard and acoustic guitar followed with mellow vocal line, backed with long sustain keyboard work. The piano work that follows and also the guitar melody are truly stunning and this kind of music confirms me to the style of Echolyn music, especially in vocal department. What follows is a graet musical interlude demonstrating bass guitar, piano, guitar and dynamic drumwork. The basslines look very tight and quite dominant. The piano solo makes the music floating and it flows wonderfully from one segment to another. The guitar solo follows the musical interlude. It's stunning!

"The Canal at Sunset" (4:17) starts mellow with guitar and piano work followed with drums and vocal. "Metaphor" (2:59) starts with a dynamic bass lines and the following music is really like Echolyn or Finneus Gauge - it's excellent stream of music - especially with its complex guitar and piano work. Wow! I like it. "Creeper (The Doorman Pt. 2)" (13:26) is an epic which starts mellow and it moves into Holdsworth-like music through the sound of keyboard. It reminds me to Holdsworth's "Metal Fatigue" album. I can sense the bass guitar playing is really wonderful especially in this track. The album is concluded nicely with "Julian II" (8:54).

Overall, it's an excellent addition to any prog music collection and it's best offered to those who have been familiar with Echolyn, Finneus Gauge, Brand X, Allan Holdsworth or in fact Bill Bruford first three albums. I recommend this to all of you and I'm sure you will be satisfied. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars I can only conclude after reading so many positive reviews about this album that it's "over my head". I just can't get into this music. I didn't like it the first time I heard it, and after many listens I can at least appreciate it but I can't enjoy it.

"Julian Ur" opens with dark sounds that build. Piano takes over then a full sound. It settles quickly with vocals. Some drastic mood and tempo swings on this one. The synths are melancholic before 5 minutes and the song stays that way to the end. "Julian I" features some nice chunky bass. The vocals are almost in the background throughout this album, almost like they were mixed too low. Synths dominate around 1 1/2 minutes. "Love Is A Vagabond King" is an instrumental and it's actualy upbeat early on. Lots of synths then the guitar leads a minute in followed by piano. Then the drums take their turn before 2 minutes. Guitar is back. Chunky bass before 4 1/2 minutes. Piano comes in as it settles right down 7 1/2 minutes in. "Halo" has these synths and vocals that come and go. Piano after a minute. Spoken words before 2 1/2 minutes then it kicks in instrumentally as vocals stop. Vocals are back 6 minutes in as it settles. Piano ends it.

"The Canal At Sunset" is mellow to open then the tempo picks up as vocals come in. This is almost a straight forward track. "Metaphor" opens with some huge bass before we get a beat with piano and guitar. Vocals follow. Great sound 2 minutes in. "Creeper (The Doorman Pt.2)" is the longest track at 13 1/2 minutes. Piano to start as reserved vocals come in. A fuller sound 3 minutes in. I like the section around 8 minutes where the bass throbs until 10 1/2 minutes in when it settles with vocals and piano. "Julian II" opens with lots of keyboards and drums. Vocals 1 1/2 minutes in as it settles right down. It kicks in heavily after 3 1/2 minutes. The piano and drums are outstanding a minute later and so is the guitar that follows. Best song on the album.

Critics seem to like this band, i'm having trouble in that regard.

Latest members reviews

4 stars This is one of my favorite albums of the 21st century. Dense but meaningful, it takes several listens to appreciate, but it doesn't wear out its welcome for me, as I still find new things to appreciate as time goes on. The only flaw is a slight sameyness to the sounds, but other than that this ... (read more)

Report this review (#169088) | Posted by emkogceo | Tuesday, April 29, 2008 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I can't believe another reviewer ditched this album BECAUSE it was "overfilled it with top notch playing and head crashing signatures" The melodicism is incorporated within the harmonic complexities of the dense arrangements, otherwise you just may be browsing in progressive music by mistake. This ... (read more)

Report this review (#135419) | Posted by wooty | Thursday, August 30, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars You owe it to yourself to check this band out. If you like Genesis style keyboard prog... this is for you. It's funny that the other 2 reviewer's hear other different band styles in the music since this music can be a crystal with all the different colors in it. This is very creative and original ... (read more)

Report this review (#56353) | Posted by | Tuesday, November 15, 2005 | Review Permanlink

Post a review of THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD "The Origin Of Consciousness"

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives