Exposé Online banner

The Inner Road — Visions
(Orbital Productions, 2011, CD)

by Paul Hightower, Published 2013-11-18

Visions Cover artThe Inner Road is an offshoot of UK prog rock outfit Coalition, who released their debut, In Search of Forever, in 2010. I’m not sure what it says about the health of Coalition that two of its key members — guitarist Phil Braithwaite and keyboard player Steve Gresswell — already need a different outlet for what is essentially more prog rock. I suppose one could argue that this collection of 12 instrumentals has a more cinematic, orchestrated quality to it, spiced with atmospherics and textural accents (perhaps best typified by “Heaven”). For me the ideas are a bit tame and the production values somewhat lacking given the bar set by others making music in home recording studios these days. However, I do commend the more melodically astute songs like “Day of the Sun” that harkens back to Sebastian Hardie, or “Life” with its Wakeman-like synth filigrees. Overall the instrumental performances are workmanlike though nothing particularly stands out. As a guitarist Braithwaite takes a conventional approach to rock guitar, rarely backing off the distortion but also rarely soloing, so that part of the mix is a constant, fuzzy blur. I’d also recommend more sophisticated keyboard patches in the future, plus a live drummer always helps. Why Braithwaite and Gresswell couldn’t just bring these arrangements to Coalition is a mystery, though fans of mainstream symphonic and neo-prog may find this collection to their liking. What it means for the future of Coalition remains to be seen.

Filed under: New releases, 2011 releases

Related artist(s): The Inner Road

Latest news

2017-08-22
John Abercrombie RIP – Another of the greats of jazz guitar has left us. John Abercrombie plied his way through a beautiful series of albums on the ECM label as well as bringing his talent to bear on albums by many of jazz's greatest artists. From his early work in the group Dreams to Gateway and outstanding work with Billy Cobham, Jack DeJohnette, Kenny Wheeler, and many more to his own trios and quartets, he brought a unique instrumental voice to the world. » Read more

2017-07-27
Yestival Dates Beef up the Beat – Word reaches us that Dylan Howe (son of guitarist Steve Howe) will be joining Yes on their "Yestival" tour, drumming alongside longtime band member Alan White. » Read more

2017-05-19
First ProgStock Festival Set for October – October 2017 will see the inaugural edition of a festival called ProgStock in Rahway, New Jersey at the Union County Performing Arts Center. With a definite slant towards neo-progressive music, the event is sure to please many fans with the inclusion of such artists as Echolyn, Glass Hammer, and Aisles. The festival will take place October 13-15. » Read more

2017-05-05
Clive Brooks RIP – Word reaches us today of another sad passing in the music world. Drummer Clive Brooks, best known as a member of such Canterbury bands as Egg, Uriel / Arzachel, and Groundhogs, has died at the age of 67. Details are sketchy at this point. The news was reported on Nick Mason's Facebook page — Brooks was Mason's drum tech. » Read more

2017-05-02
Col. Bruce Hampton RIP – The phrase "He died doing what he loved" is almost a cliche, but in the case of Col. Bruce Hampton, it couldn't be more true. Hampton, who was born Gustav Berglund III, collapsed on stage at his own 70th birthday celebration and later passed away. The event took place at the Fox Theater in Atlanta. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Kansas - Kansas & Song for America – The first two Kansas albums contain some of the group's best material and show a band on the way up in their formative years. Commercial success for the band would not arrive until two albums...  (2004) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues