It's rare these days to find new bands that experiment with long progressive rock songs while at the same time trying non-traditional approaches with their use of keyboards and electronics. Cairo does all this and more in their ambitious second release Conflict and Dreams.
The multi-layered synthesiser work by Mark Robertson is the highlight of this album. While I generally prefer a fat organ sound to those of a synthesiser, the emphasis here is on the latter, but it works out really well. The primary reason is because the elements of electronic noise, syncopation, and atonality are all intertwined. The music on this release is more avant garde than traditional progressive rock. The guitars and the rhythm section nicely complement the keyboard work. The vocals have their moments, and at times the arrangements remind me of a cross between Queen, Pink Floyd and Deep Purple (particularly when the Hammond organ is brought in). Cairo's music has what it takes to be one of the great sounds in progressive rock, and is definitely a must get for any fan of non-mainstream keyboard-driven rock music.