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Low Budget Orchestra - Innerstellar CD (album) cover


Low Budget Orchestra



2.98 | 14 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars This is the third album by the extraordinarily gifted one-man-band of Mikko Muranen, Finland. In his own words, L.B.O. is "instrumental progressive rock, with slight leaning to metal. The music consists of guitar driven musical journeys along with carefully structured layered orchestration, huge wall of sound and detailed production". Obviously he knows what he's doing, and especially what his strengths are; that description pretty accurately sums it all. But something more important than technical skill is more or less missing. I'm repeating my thoughts on The Second Best (2008) six months earlier, but I can't help remaining quite untouched by this massive high-tech music, in the emotional level which to me is essential in musical enjoyment. When the emphasis is so clearly on the delivery and building those walls of sound, the magic - or "heart" if you like - easily gets lost.

I'm aware it may be a matter of genre/style, that I'm not among the best target audience. For a more metal oriented listener this album might be a wonderful musical trip full of excitement and, well, some kind of passion even. These things are so subjective. It certainly has power and it's capable of loading you with energy when you're in need of that instead of more introspective aspects of music. It also would be misleading to suggest that this music is nothing but fast-paced and heroic self-indulgence. There are some delicate moments peaking like flowers through the parking lot, even though in the overall impression they get buried and they are never given space to grow, to bring more emotional substance to the music. This is my subjective feeling.

Taken individually the tracks have a symphonic edge but as a whole the album feels tiringly similar and with no real sense of dramatic arches or a concept. A bit overproduced and overworked walls of sound, after all? Perhaps collaborating with a musician whose approach to composing is completely different (ie. less technical and more emotional) it could result as a breath-taking masterpiece. Having heard all the three L.B.O. albums this is probably the most convincing, but their differences seem to be rather limited.

Matti | 3/5 |


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