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(51:48, Giant Electric Pea)
TRACK LIST: 1. Akshaya Tritiya 5:28 2. Irrelevant Connotations 4:27 3. A Magnetic Moment 5:15 4. Will 3:32 5. Neptunian Pyramid Chill 4:40 6. Slow Spin 4:31 7. The Rainmaker 6:44 8. Mos Eisley 4:16 9. The Ancient Cosmic Bubble 7:25 10. Distant Knowledge 5:30 LINEUP Zsolt Kaltenecker - keyboards, electronics Marton Kertesz - guitar Attila Fehervari - bass Adam Marko - drums
Prolusion. "Will" (2017) is the fifth studio album by Hungarian metal-jazz band SPECIAL PROVIDENCE. The band was formed in Budapest in 2004. The line-up has changed slightly during the 14 years that have passed since the bandís foundation. At least two of the musicians present on this album (Attila Fehervari Ė bass and Marton Kertesz Ė guitar) have a higher academic musical education.
Analysis. Even though the band is categorised as progressive metal, it can hardly be squeezed into this genre frame. Yes, the guys use metal guitar riffs here and there, but the overall impression is that their music, though quite heavy as such, goes far beyond this classification, and what really places this team apart from their brothers in genre is the jazz element amply mixed into their metal material. This is my first review of SPECIAL PROVIDENCE, nor have I ever listened to them beyond this album (except for only one track from a different one). ĎWillí leaves a positive impression from the very first listen. It consists of ten all-instrumental tracks of a standard length of 5 minutes on average. Such diverse musical styles as jazz and metal co-exist on ĎWillí in peace and harmony and enjoy equal rights, which ensures its distinctness from other metal or jazz outputs I have come across so far and, in general, makes the material sound quite original. One of the albumís most remarkable features is the musicianship demonstrated by all of the members (indeed, some of them did not waste time in the Budapest conservatoire!). Adam Marko plays extremely precise odd syncopations using dexterously his bass drum, which, together with Attila Fehervariís hard-edged bass, creates the tasty metal foundations of the album. Marton Kertesz, depending on the situation, reinforces the structure with heavy riffs or weaves complex jazz improvisations. Zsolt Kaltenecker is responsible for the clear classical-jazz keyboards. The other prominent characteristic is singularity: firmly balancing between jazz and metal, the musicians managed to sail their boat in the middle of the stream without approaching any of the banks or getting in other boatsí way. Then, itís the albumís production, which makes every instrument sound very clearly and the entire fabric colourful and transparent. However, the sky is not so cloudless as it may seem. For me, the albumís biggest problem is that it is too even, its soundscape is too flat, if you like. It took me quite a few listens before I began to distinguish between the songs. This is, probably, because they are largely based on rather straightforward melodies and guitar riffs, and although almost every song develops then in an interesting way, very few of them contain really bright, memorable, catchy moments. The improvisations are sometimes too short and standard, offering no special inspiration. The first song I listened from this album was track 4 with the same name as the album, which attracted me to SPECIAL PROVIDENCE in general and which still remains my favourite. Despite its high quality and a number of indisputable outstanding features, the album appeals to my mind, but not my soul. Maybe, itís simply because Iím not a fan of metal.
Conclusion. All in all, I should recommend that any prog fan should have at least one SPECIAL PROVIDENCE album in their collection. For me, one of the most valuable features of any work of art is its innovative character, and ĎWillí is, no doubt, belongs to this category. Metal and jazz lovers will, certainly, see here some unusual aspects of their respective genres.
Proguessor: 26 January 2019
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