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Fusion Orchestra 2 - Casting Shadows CD (album) cover

CASTING SHADOWS

Fusion Orchestra 2

 

Heavy Prog

4.35 | 3 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

aapatsos
Special Collaborator
Prog Metal and Heavy Prog Teams
4 stars 40 years worth the wait

It is exactly 40 years since the release of "Skeleton in Armour" and the second incarnation of the group, with only Colin Dawson on guitars from the 70's band, sounds quite similar and at the same time quite different than its predecessor. While FO2 keep the general character of the 70's band, they succeed in creating an album fresh and dynamic.

FO2 has a similar set-up to FO1 - a 5-piece with a female vocalist - and even the structure of the album resembles to "Skeleton in Armour" with long compositions and several bridges/interludes that work as well as they did back then. The interest is focused on the three long (>10min) compositions where their jazzy progressive hard rock character is unveiled in all its splendour. While the improvisation, long solo sections and occasional jamming feeling are ever apparent, the result remains accessible and very often "catchy". To this assists the exciting voice of Elsie Lovelock who combines the punchy, street rockin' and rebellious tone (ala Joplin) in her voice with more jazzy and mellower patterns with such easiness...

Well-worked compositions with the right balance between the rock and prog aspects, plenty of organ-driven or pure jazz passages on hard-rockin' riffs or melodic (often dual) phrases, a very tight rhythm section that employs frequent breaks, simultaneously "filling" the sound, paint the picture for what promises to be one of the best albums of 2013.

The minute production problems should not avert the listener from enjoying this to the full. For fans of the FO1 and acts such as Babe Ruth, this might not be a genre-redefining album but an excellent, honest effort and quite dissimilar to a lot of recent progressive rock albums.

Highly recommended!

aapatsos | 4/5 |

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