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Episode - Into the Epicenter CD (album) cover

INTO THE EPICENTER

Episode

 

Symphonic Prog

3.18 | 12 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer
2 stars The debut effort by this defunct and now all but forgotten Northern California outfit began as a homemade demo package, later to be released (by Greg Walker's Syn-Phonic label) on good old-fashioned vinyl and cassette-tape at the tail end of the LP era. And that might have been the end of it, if keyboard player Nick Peck hadn't generously made the entire album available for complimentary downloading from his own web site, years later.

It's tempting in retrospect to dismiss the group (kindly) as a minor but engaging retro-Prog band recalling, with obvious affection, the mid '70s symphonic role model of YES. But give them credit at least for aiming high, and for playing unfashionable music so out of step with the notoriously hostile corporate entertainment culture of the Reagan/Bush 1980s.

Generous listeners should forgive the sometimes insecure vocals, the lack of virtuoso chops, and the seemingly arbitrary changes in mood and tempo lifted straight from the Progressive Rock rulebook, making the songs resemble (like a lot of secondhand Prog) a haphazard collection of unrelated ideas loosely stitched together. Enjoy instead the disarming innocence of the album's throwback style, and while you're at it let's have a round of applause for the group's stubborn, grass-roots devotion to a then-dormant musical cause.

With a little time and a larger audience, Episode could have developed into something really special (check out their second, final album: a big step forward from this one, and also available gratis on their web pages). Too bad they weren't allowed that chance, but by making the music so easily available they've also kept it very much alive, and that's no small blessing for an otherwise neglected Prog Rock band.

Neu!mann | 2/5 |

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