2013 Prog Rock – Symphonic Prog from the UK’s The Inner Road – Ascension!

The Inner Road

The Inner RoadThe other sub-genre of Prog Rock that I find myself drawn to is symphonic prog. The other night when The Inner Road’s latest album Ascension was streaming from progstreaming in the background. As I was reading, I found myself stopping and listening to the music several times!! So the album went on the iPhone and I have been enjoying it since then.

The Inner Road is a  symphonic instrumental prog rock band from the UK (Reading/Brighton) composed basically of  two members Steve Gresswell on keyboards and current guitarist Jay Parmar. Parmar takes the place of Phil Braithwaite who provided the guitar work on the band’s début album Visions released in 2011. Gresswell was a member of Coalition a neo-prog band when he began writing a more symphonic style prog rock  that he didn’t think fit the band, so he formed The Inner Road. In the short time they have been on the scene  The Inner Road has already established a worldwide fan-base.

Steve is the primary writer for The Inner Road. When needed for recording and live performances Steve collaborates with other musicians. As I wrote previously, for the latest album Steve is recording with Jay Parmar.  From Jay’s website:

Jay is a professional guitarist, composer and producer. Inspired to play guitar by the six-string mastery of Iron Maiden in the 1980s, and highly influenced by Dokken/Lynch Mob guitar virtuoso George Lynch, Steve Vai, Steve Stevens, and others,as a solo artist Jay is now signed to Steve Vai’s record label Digital Nations, which released his highly acclaimed 2012 album ‘Circle Of Fire’.

AscensionAscension according to the band’s website “is a “heavier” style of prog rock and is immersed in feel, emotion and depth”.

Once again I will let tszirmay Special Collaborator at Prog Archives tell you about the album..

“Ascension” is The Inner Road’s second album, coming quite rapidly on the heels of 2011’s remarkable “Visions”, an instrumental symphonic masterpiece that garnered rave reviews worldwide, yours truly included, in total rapture. As is always the case with momentous albums, how do you get it done again without falling into repetitive formula yet still keeping the creative spirit alive and well? On this stunning sophomore release, keyboardist and multi-instrumentalist Steve Gresswell has joined up with guitarist Jay Parmar, whose style differs greatly from previous fret colleague Phil Braithwaite’s more Latimer-esque elegance, preferring a distinctly obvious oriental style, infused with dazzling harder sizzles recalling axe maestros Steve Vai and Joe Satriani. As much as Visions was way more pastoral, almost Anthony Phillips ?like, this new album is positively bursting at the seams with razor sharp , sledgehammer riffs that have a palpable Andalucian feel, the Moorish tinges are frequent and ultimately very satisfying. A new direction with even more accomplished symphonics is a laudable adventure and rewards the demanding audiophile with unlimited bliss. While preferring real drums to the programmed variety, it must be said that the mechanical beat box is well crafted and does not diminish in any way the eloquent music being presented…..

In summary….

….Just like the preceding ‘Visions’, The Inner Road have crafted another memorable progressive avenue of instrumental splendor, full of playful exploits and dreamy atmospherics. This time the mood was more animalistic and impulsive, creatively aggressive and sonically impressive. I cannot fathom anyone not being impressed with this dream work, I daresay even our prog-metalloid cousins would enjoy this immensely and intensely. Certainly Symph fans but also guitar fan boys will rise to the applause! Of course, the artwork is spectacular once again, offering up a prog collector’s fantasy of audio and visual art forms.  5 Elevators   Full Review


Here is the title track “Ascension” from The Inner Road…now what was that Jay Parmar album I need to check out – oh yeah – Circle of Fire!