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TRACK LIST: 1. Second Hand 13:53 2. Colors of The Moon 10:13 3. Fall Across the Sky 9:12 4. Chaos & Clarity 12:26 5. A Hint of Grey 8:07 6. A Brief Awakening 5:48 LINEUP: KC Thomsen – keyboards; vocals John Redfield – guitars, bass; vocals Dave Thomas – drums, percussion; vocals
Prolusion. The US band PRAVDA was formed sometime around year 2000, and started releasing their music in 2003. With minor line-up alterations as something of a key band issue throughout they have still managed to continue recording material, and have four full length studio efforts to date. "The Clarity of Chaos" is the most recent of these, issued in late December 2012.
Analysis. The two previous albums by this bands that I have checked out myself have both been well made but occasionally peculiar blends of progressive metal with fusion elements as a central flavoring as far as I can recall. Quirky constructions, utilizing some odd sound effects at times, definitely interesting but perhaps with a somewhat limited audience. Mostly instrumental too I seem to recall. "The Clarity of Chaos" is a production that shifts its focus to somewhat different territories altogether. The compositions feature vocal passages this time, the tracks are generally longer than on previous albums, and the overall sound has been given quite the makeover too. No rough edges on this occasion, but a fairly smooth and contemporary sounding and very well balanced mix has given Pravda anno 2012 an inviting and very much enticing overall atmosphere. These alterations in approach are ones, I presume, that will expand their reach considerably, as long as they can manage to get heard in the first place, which of course is one of the main challenges of the greater majority of recording artists in this day and age. Especially when the material at hand is fairly challenging. I recall Pravda as a quirky band, and they still are. While mix and production may have added a shiny and inviting glossy sound, the compositions are structurally far removed from being easily accessible. Easy to listen to and enjoy for sure, but just about all of them also have a plethora of alterations in style, pace and intensity throughout. Recurring themes too I might add, all set up in a way that gives the attentive listener quite a lot to track as these songs develop. Recurring details throughout are mystical, Eastern inspired keyboard motifs, and when Pravda hits the harder edged movements they tend to coat the guitars in electronic effects this time around, creating a distinct and dark toned style I'll have to describe as electrorock. There's even some frantic rhythms-driven passages that aren't light-years away from techno on second track Colors of the Moon. These stylistic variations are then combined with gentle ballad oriented passages, slow and gentle movements with more of a distinct symphonic oriented expression, harder edged varieties of the former or the latter of these wit more of a power ballad oriented sound. With occasional lapses into fusion-flavored rock and metal-tinged inserts, as well as s single instance of an insert closer to purebred jazz. Fall across the Sky also contains a part with something of a fun-filled, Country-flavored romp as a neat and joyful effect. Structurally challenging music explored within a framework of smooth, enticing soundscapes is my summary of this production. A well made creation too, that should raise the interest level of this band considerably.
Conclusion. To some extent I can repeat some of the comments I made about Pravda's previous album: Pravda is an adventurous band seeking out many different musical territories, and while they may not create the most groundbreaking, challenging music, their eclectic blend of different styles does cross borders many other acts leave well alone. I'll add in that the current version of the band has opted to explore a somewhat more inviting variety of this kind of music on their latest album, with a highly enticing, smooth sound and compositions featuring vocal passages as well. Before partially repeating my final statement from a few years back: those who find it satisfying to experience bands that like to take chances, and who usually enjoy a CD that can't be described as belonging to any particular genre, should consider themselves a key audience for this band.
OMB=Olav M Bjornsen: September 17, 2013
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