Fireworks

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Added by Central Electronic Brain     May 05, 2014    
 
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Is the record indulgent? Of course it bloody well is, but that's the intent.

Having heard this Dutch band's previous two albums, I was keen to hear what the Prog band had concocted for their ambitious third album. Taking their cue from vintage sci-fi classics for this one, this is the aural equivalent of floating in space. You can add Space Rock to the band's sound if you're keen on genre labels, but there's also an avant-garde Jazz vibe. The five-piece remind of you of the classic Prog bands of the 1970s, not necessarily in terms of sound but in terms of ambition: trying to push their musical dexterity further. There are the Prog staples of time changes, songs that are as long and expansive as space itself and polyphonic arrangements that'll bring a smile to those who like technical flair.

The eighteen minute opener 'The Curious One' isn't in any rush as it's five minutes before the vocal comes in after a lot of incidental whizzes and jazzy pings. The song then moves like a man in a robot suit. It moves through the gears from the sound of the robot malfunctioning (at least, that's what I hear!) to a meditative piano passage before building to a rocking guitar fuelled intensity, it's a bit Van der Graaf Generator at times.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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There are harmony vocals on 'Wormholes (The Inevitable Collapse Of The Large Hadron Collider)'; but of course with song titles like that, this isn't a record that's one for sing-along choruses. The track has some powerful widdly guitar and swirling organ. The ten minute 'Elegy Ode A Solitary Giant' packs in discordant noise, a spaghetti space-western motif like Morricone, a trumpet and a Roger Waters feel at the songs conclusion while closing song, a lengthy twelve minuter, has a long Pink Floyd guitar solo.

Is the record indulgent? Of course it bloody well is, but that's the intent. It might be Dutch but there's an English whimsy of old Genesis, King Crimson and Gentle Giant as well as a heavier, more modern element suggesting Pain of Salvation or Opeth here too. This might cause space sickness for those wary of audacious Prog but those that do like it will approve.

Duncan Jamieson

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