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(63:22; Gentle Art of Music)
What we have here is the second album from the band led by singer and violinist Ally Storch. While it is somewhat unusual to have a violin in a lead role in a progressive rock/metal /symphonic outfit, it is definitely different to have both bass and stick. Generally bands have one or the other, and sometimes a musician who will play both, but I think this is the first time I have come across a band that features to musicians playing these instruments at the same time, which definitely gives them a different sound. Add to that two electric guitars, which may or may not be providing direct support to violin or duetting with it, then here is an incredibly complex band. There are multiple melodic layers going on here, as even the bassist gets in on the act, so it is of little surprise to find a drummer moving in and out of jazz stylings as he attempts to keep everything nailed, as sometimes “straightforward” rock just won’t cut it. This is an album the definitely deserves repeated plays, as it is possible to get lost inside the morass of notes and textures, which only become clear and clean the more it is listened to. Ally has a good voice, but I actually prefer it when she puts the microphone to one side and the six of them just cut loose. The note density is off the scale at times, but they also know how to slow it down and have a strong control of dynamics and contrast. Definitely progressive, the album has a very modern feel to it, and the bonus number of “Surfing With The Alien” has smiles all over it as everyone has a ball as it bounces along. One of Ally’s heroes when she was younger was American rock violinist Jerry Goodman, who achieved fame in the 1970s with the fusion bands The Flock and Mahavishnu Orchestra, and to have him guest on one song must have felt like a dream come true, and also shows how highly the band are rated by others. Definitely well worth investigating.
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