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(61 min, Unicorn)
TRACK LIST: 1. Chromatic 14:18 2. Opposite of Know 8:13 3. The Guardian 4:33 4. Into the Depths 4:59 5. Underwater Cities 4:52 6. Resurface Earth 4:03 7. Casa de Jig 7:43 8. Beginning's End 12:45 All tracks: by Nadkarni, Babiak & Pachona, except 8: by Parallel Mind. Produced by Parallel Mind. LINEUP: Nibandh Nadkarni - keyboards Joe Babiak - drums; trumpet William Kopecky - bass With: Jason Pachona - mandolin (7) Hamid Assian - violin (7) Rene Spacapan - cello (2) Saar Schnitman - guitar (6) Suman Nadkarni - vocalization (4) Mixed choir - vocalization (4)
Prolusion. Another new name has appeared on the Progressive Rock map, PARALLEL MIND. "Colossus Adea" is the debut CD by this American trio, though one of its members, bassist William Kopecky, has been around for a while and is well known to the Prog audience for his work with Kopecky and Par Lindh Project.
Analysis. Parallel Mind isn't your typical Prog Rock trio, nor is it a guitar or keyboard trio either. They created a stunning instrumental album, whose originality is so striking that no one in his right mind would draw direct parallels between it and anything else. Personally, I just feel happy that I can't subject this stuff to comparison and that I can't even use relativist comparisons this time around. Although the music has a distinct Jazz Rock sense, the principal tonalities (except one track, Casa de Jig, which will be described below) are firmly rooted in symphonic Art-Rock, which, in turn, is rooted in Classical Academic music. The band by all means masterfully slides between these genres, so the album's primary style appears to be a combination of them and is a symphonic quasi Jazz-Fusion with a much larger amount of composed solos than improvised ones. The latter emanate mainly from Joe Babiak - when he switches over to trumpet, which he does on most of the tracks, though not as often as I would want him to. Joe is a fantastically versatile musician, while his drum work is just beyond praise. William plays a 6-string bass; his amazingly virtuosi solos often border on improvisation, but rarely exceed the framework of structured music, as well as those by Nibandh Nadkarni. This guy's keyboard work lays the foundation, and he really shines at it. While not avoiding traditional synthesizers, he favors more organ and piano. The first three compositions: Chromatic, Opposite of Know and The Guardian are the brightest representatives of the primary style and, along with the last track, are highlights. Although truly multiple by construction, they consist almost exclusively of fast, intense and powerful (simply mind-blowing) arrangements with lots of whirling solos, chord variations and tempo changes. The reflective classical-like interplay between cello, piano and bass that open and close the second track are probably the only place to relax found on these. This stuff is so intricate and compelling that you will not want to rest, though. Nevertheless, you will have to. Into the Depths is the one with vocalizations and is rather atypical in general. Moderately slow in its entirety, the music is romantic and, at times, even anthemic in character, with modern-type symphonic and exotic (Indian amongst others) colors prevailing in the palette. This composition develops less unexpectedly than its predecessors, but has a lot of its own virtues; perhaps it's the most unique in sound. Underwater Cities and Resurface Earth follow, combining bombastic arrangements with mellower ones. Both are related to the album's primary style, but don't contain authentic improvisations. The latter is somewhat more animated, marking the beginning of the return to the highly intensive sound. This tendency is continued on the next track and reaches the climax on the last one. While Casa de Jig is a blend of Swing, authentic Jazz-Fusion and Folk Rock, Beginning's End finds the band approximately on the same territories in which the journey began. However, a solid portion of this epic is referred directly to uniting Euro Prog Rock and Oriental music, and this is probably the real culmination of the album.
Conclusion. Everything is perfect on this material: the composition and the arrangement are brilliant, the performance is tight, and the musicianship is outstandingly masterful. "Colossus Adea" is another candidate to my Top-20 of 2005, and its creators, Parallel Mind, are definitely a band to watch. Highly recommended.
VM: May 27, 2005
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