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(61:55, Progressive Promotion Records)
TRACK LIST: 1. Darkness 8:29 2. Lullaby 6:01 3. Waves 7:51 4. Dr. Ho 7:34 5. Suspicion 13:41 6. Truth 4:41 7. Memoirs of a Mayfly 21:52 LINEUP: Sebastian Brennert – piano, vocals Michael Kuchenbecker – keyboards Carsten Dannert – drums, percussion Matthias Hommel – bass, pedals Jacques Moch – guitars With: Niels Loffler – guitars Marek Arnold – saxophone Julia Gorcelanczyk – vocals Hey Jo – b/v
Prolusion. The German band INVERTIGO is based out of the Ruhr-area in Germany, and has since 2006 sought to explore and create progressive rock that maintains the structural complexity of the old giants of the genre yet also comes out as accessible and melodic. They made their debut in 2011 with "Next Stop Vertigo", and "Veritas" from 2012 is their sophomore production, released by the German label Progressive Promotion Records.
Analysis. I'll readily admit that usually I'm rather keen on artists creating music with a focus on melody and accessible characteristics. It is artists of that kind that pretty often are discovered by people mostly unaware about what progressive rock is in the first place, and not too infrequently by people that thought that music didn't really matter that much to them. Personally I still enjoy listening to quite a few artists of the accessible kind too, the German band Sylvan a long time favorite in that department. And it is within this context I'll place InVertigo, by its own description and my perception both. One of my main impressions when getting familiar with this CD is that this is a band that applies a loosely made formula to their compositions, first and foremost by pairing of light toned, gentle themes with harder edged ones, sporting a richer and frequently majestic arrangement. The former tends to be based around the verse segment of the songs, where gentle guitar licks and dampened rhythms or piano will supplement the vocals in a careful manner, occasionally employing the flute to add careful melodic nuances to the proceedings. Infrequently other affects will be applied too, dampened, dark toned riffs to create a stronger tension, careful synth textures to subtly broaden the scope of the arrangement. But by and large the verse parts tend to be light of tone, gentle of nature and smooth in performance. Many of the instrumental passages and most of the chorus ones take on a different expression altogether, one pretty often close to progressive metal. Harder edged, dark-toned guitar textures by way of elongated riffs or riff patterns, richer synthesizer textures combining with these to form a majestic sound and atmosphere, while rhythms, bass and vocals alike all take on a pacier, more powerful and energetic delivery. Some variation is applied in this department too of course, and of the more enjoyable on this CD is the somewhat more organ-driven Dr. Ho, a joyful and jubilant creation that gave me associations towards Deep Purple on quite a few occasions throughout. Other variations of note can be found on closing epic The Memoirs of a Mayfly, with a fun section that features some slightly reggae-oriented motifs, and another sequence with more of a pop-rock expression to it and clever use of a guest saxophonist to emphasize that sound. InVertigo is a band that has a lot going for them, and I'm convinced that "Veritas" is a production that will appeal to a wide audience inside and outside of the progressive rock universe. Personally I found this to be more of a pleasant album however, perhaps a tad too lacking in contrasting nuances, perhaps a tad too smooth for my personal taste, for whatever reason I didn't find myself truly intrigued by it. Waves and Suspicion are the two pieces that made me take attention most often; the aforementioned Dr. Ho had its fair share of intriguing moments too. A good band and a good album, but on this occasion one that didn't manage to make a strong impression on me.
Conclusion. "InVertigo" has made a fine album with "Veritas", a smooth and melodic production that strikes a fine balance between exploring gentle, melodic passages and harder edged, metal-oriented sequences. Generally light in tone and spirit, with something of an uplifting mood throughout, this is an accessible and easy on the ears endeavor that I suspect will find its key audience amongst fans of bands like Toxic Smile and Sylvan, the former of these perhaps not surprisingly signed to the same label as InVertigo.
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