Melodic Revolution 2015
Virginian quartet’s second journey from gloom back into the sun.
There have been changes in this band’s camp since 2009’s “Powered By Light” but the turmoil only added determination to their new album. It paints a human’s way through today’s life, so the righteous belligerence lurks in the far reaches of “War Song” and “Vision Of A New Dawn” – the opening and closing epics which clock in around 20-minute mark each – yet the ensemble’s prog intent comes coated in memorable melodies. With guest vocalists adding verbal flourish to the flow, the predatory riffs of “Into The Lair” are brushed away when the voice of BRAVE’s Michelle Schrotz and a baroque piano throw a pop tune upon their edge, whereas Dimetrius LaFavors, a new singer with ODIN’S COURT (who fairly recently released a record of their own), leads a soft dance through three of the five compositions on offer.
All of them host a dynamic, if intricate and subtle, interplay between Mike Visaggio’s multi-faceted organ and Mark Tupko’s elastic bass that serves as a trampoline for solos to bounce off, while Todd Russell’s guitar runs the gamut from fusion flurries to folk-flavored strum, and Michael Murray’s drums dictate the ever-shifting pace. Turning into a tribal chant on “Her” which initially seems to be employing a clichéd approach, it takes on a philosophical uplift and chases away the funk. Likewise, the title track’s acoustic lace gets fleshed out with a flute-abetted incantation insistency, and the spirit behind this hymn to beauty rises higher and higher until tension subsides into the rustic simplicity before returning to the Renaissance exquisiteness.
It accumulates the utmost power in the grand finale, as the ivories shape tension and hope. Yet it shouldn’t be the end, because “Travelogue” beckons the listener to return and discover more layers and details of this adventure. A pleasant ride into the sunrise.