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Estradasphere - Quadropus CD (album) cover





3.32 | 38 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
3 stars As the title would have you guess, this is group's fourth album (although one of them is an EP), the now quartet is left without a drummer, even if the departing Dave Murray fills in when needed. The quartet develops their usual ethnic-sounding Avant-prog with the gypsy/East European blatant influences dominating some tracks and much more subtle on others. Their brand of Avant-prog is wide-scoped with pure folk (the opening Greek trad piece) with some wild horns (such as King Krab Battle, my fave), mixes quite easily electric and acoustic instruments, a twist of Flamenco (in the lengthy Hardball), some early (almost doo-wop) RnR (Crystal Blue), some Death/Black/Trash-metal (Jungle Warfare the bad Bodyslam) and rather surprising, it is sung, which is not that often the case.

Although Estradasphere's music is a bit out of the ordinary, it is also nothing groundbreaking, being a cross between some of Quebec's Avant (Miriodor, Rouge Ciel), some of Sweden's Avant-folk (In The Labyrinth and Ensemble Nimbus), Finland's crazy scene (Alamaailman Vasarat and Uzva or Belgium (Cro-Magnon). But nevertheless this is a very good album, with some often-excellent moments, but on the whole it is just another Avant-prog album, with its shares of surprises, but they are not necessarily good.

After this album, wind player Whooley will leave the group, being replaced by two new members making the next album with a very different line up: a sextet where the remaining Harris, Schimmel and Smolens are only half of the group. As for this album, I can't help but feeling that the group is out for a too demonstrative representation of their "huge abilities" and passe-partout easiness, in short: a bit of a show-off attitude that actually un-serves them a bit.

Sean Trane | 3/5 |


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