Melodic Revolution 2022
Reeling in the years, prog-rock polymath rolls out an arresting array of instrumental scrolls.
Never an alien to minimalistic aural lace, Leon Alvarado has invariably been dealing with luxuriant textures for a couple of decades now, as his previous efforts like "The Future Left Behind" demonstrate with much gusto, mostly leaving gossamer passages for dynamic contrast; yet the Texan amassed quite a few of those, including rather recent pieces, over the years, and found a common context for this music now. As befits such an endeavor, where the setting seems sparse on a per-track basis, the resulting album is relatively short but profound, although the scanter the sounds get the deeper is the platter’s emotional meaning.
What may initially come across as a sci-fi concept should change the listener’s acceptance of the proceedings at the record’s end, when the percussive, groovy “The Electric Dream” segues into “Outside The Dream” whose bells and organ waves – arguably the sole organic, dense sound on the entire album – introduce a sinister watershed to the overall flow, rendering the perceived external aspect of a reverie more evil than the preceding fantasies. Not that opener “Alternate Frequencies” offers fun in its drone, other than the excitement of retrofuturistic adventure; yet this number’s pseudo-outdated synthesizers weave a captivating cloth out of increasingly playful ether before epic “Megapolis” scopes urban landscapes through throbs, belches and swooshes until they’re removed by glacial, cinematic twang which will be replaced with creepy crystalline wails and threatening thuds only to circle towards techno pulse once again.
However, “Space Glitter” locates cosmic signals within airier, atmospheric solemnity and corrects the course to embrace disco beat and, thus, cleanse the palate for “Orion” to shimmer and grip the riff-shearing glory and for “The Rising Sun” to bring celestial fever down and stoke a folk-infected fire after even higher. Here, the thrill of the chase is finally laid bare for all to see and share, and whether the dream will ever be captured is irrelevant.