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(67:30, 'Fibonacci Sequence')
TRACK LIST: 1. Commencement 2:47 2. Neap Tide 9:20 3. Primrose Path 6:38 4. Dawn 2:56 5. Catlord 8:54 6. Illuminati 0:42 7. Work In Progress 6:54 8. Missing Time 8:49 9. Faunus 11:17 10. Io 9:13 LINEUP: Michael Bulzen – guitars, mandolin Jeffrey Schuelke – keyboards Thomas Ford – drums Chris Kringel – bass With: Elizabeth Grimm – violin (8-10) Chad Burkholz – bass (8)
Prolusion. The US outfit FIBONACCI SEQUENCE is less than illustrious as far as its history is concerned, but from what I understand, this band was formed around 2007 with guitarist Bulzen as the central composer. "Numerology" is their initial full-length effort and was self-released in 2010.
Analysis. With a band and album name as closely connected as in this case, the former a mathematical expression and the latter a nice tie in to that, I presume that the musicians behind this venture have relations to that particular field and perhaps even utilize philosophies from it in the music they create. Be that as it may be, I'll leave further investigations into such associations to those with a particular interest in exploring topics of that nature. Personally, I'm more interested in the music as such, and in this case it's a full-fledged instrumental effort. In regards to style, progressive metal seems to be the most accurate description. The very nature of these compositions makes genre placement very much a topic of discussion and personal perception, but as the metal flavors represent the most extreme nature of this creation, and it is a common feature throughout this album, my opinion is that this is the most fitting description. Fibonacci Sequence sticks to the melodic varieties of this style though, and while there are a few instances of aggressive riff cascades to be found, dampened riffs with melodic tinges and a smooth keyboard layer on top is the subset of progressive metal most common on this disc, the smooth tangents also a common feature when the band shifts gear and heads into the art rock universe with wandering clean or acoustic guitars providing the themes and motifs explored, at times with drawn-out or dampened riffs underscoring this in all respects lighter musical landscape. The keys and guitars add the odd subtle but complex theme to explore or as a briefer tension adding insert, but by and large the melodic and harmonic approach dominates this excursion, no matter what stylistic elements are utilized. And unlike many instrumental escapades, "Numerology" is a production in which the amount of regular instrumental soloing is kept to a minimum, it instead focusing on exploring the core melodies of the main themes and motifs, utilizing the guitars and keys to add subtle alterations to avoid a repetitive effect and in general sticking to an approach of quick alterations and developments within the individual piece. Another particular trait throughout this disc is the manner in which the songs change from one mood or style to another, smoothly changing pace and sound in stride rather than utilizing transitional phases or the more dramatic stop-and-start techniques, which does add a smooth and free flowing touch to these numbers that are among the more intriguing I have encountered in a while. The final four efforts on this CD are enriched with additional musical traits that add a nice flavor of variety to the proceedings. Work in Progress has a nice jazz-tinged bass guitar motif as a distinct feature throughout. Missing Time adds a violin to provide an additional instrumental flavor, and in the following effort, Faunus, this instrument is central to the folk-inspired motifs that find their natural home there. On final track Io, space-tinged textures are the name of the game in several key parts, the violin both enhancing the keys as well as crafting some intriguing layers of its own on this particular occasion.
Conclusion. The blend of art rock and progressive metal on the band's debut effort "Numerology" is of a kind and manner that should appeal to those who are fond of compositions that place an emphasis on melody over quirky and challenging features. The songs are well-made and -performed, the smooth and ever-developing compositions crafted with a good ear for natural flow and cohesion, uniting themes that can be of radically different natures with apparent ease. A strong initial effort overall, it comes recommended to those who enjoy instrumental progressive metal with an emphasis on distinct moods and melodies over quirky features or a generally aggressive approach.
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