Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography - Audio Diplomacy CD (album) cover



Eclectic Prog

3.58 | 63 ratings

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4 stars Audio Diplomacy is the initial release from the instrumental quartet from Uzbekistan. The album is from a live performance in 2005 although it really doesn't feel that way. There is no crowd cheering, stage banter or any other live trappings. The recording sounds amazingly clean as well. Actually the performance was recorded as a DVD with the CD being gleaned from that. The video is state of the art and the performance is very well staged. It looks and sounds great and on top of that another great package design by Ken Westphal. OK Enough said for the technical aspects of the CD.

The set starts out with the "Intro" that once you pass the first 2 minutes of electronics, sound effects, including record scratching, turns into a pretty great number. Building from a rhythm platform to more like something you might here on A Trick of the Tail with use of strings to a blistering synth solo to a spacey section with the sound of a church organ that moves into the second number "Fromuz". This piece is a kind of the signature statement the band is making about itself. The song is very fusion like in the beginning moving into a great rock passage and guitar solo by Vitaly Popeloff that I can only describe as Jeff Beck on steroids. There are some really heavy chords in parts that remind me of metal and just when you think they are going to stay in style they move into some bebop jazz with a great piano solo from Albert Khalmurzayev moving back to the original theme to end the song.

The other tracks follow suit. The music never stagnates moving from one theme and style and time signature to another effortlessly and skillfully. There is a lot in this music and it would take way to long to try describing all its richness in words. Many layers of great sounds and pastoral passages as well as steel crunches and blistering solos supplying some of the best and most original instrumental prog I have heard in along time.

I think fans of Focus and other Symphonic bands would like this but also fans of fusion like Mahavishnu Orchestra and Return to Forever. All I can say is WOW. If this is the beginning of this group I can't wait to hear more. 4.5 solid stars.

Garion81 | 4/5 |


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