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7 for 4 - Contact CD (album) cover

CONTACT

7 for 4

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.02 | 56 ratings

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Mario R.
5 stars At a glimpse 7 FOR 4 is a German mature, lofty and sophisticated band gathering some other extremely interesting distinctive features at the same time being very unknown at least outside its country borders. The huge gap between the inherent quality deriving from these attributes and their very poor media exposure makes from this band one of the biggest surprises in the field of good prog with the mention that their music melts many influences beyond the metal prog as first impression assigned thereof.

While saluting and respecting the existing biography (a good ground for the German natives audiophiles) that points out the solid background of the band members, this complementary intro intends to make one step focused towards the features that defines the personality of this amazing band.

7 FOR 4 is one of those rare bands that make no compromise for commercial reasons and no abuse of eclecticism just to impress while touching in an enchanting way the highest music-filters of a listener mind. The band members are not simply guided by the idea of channeling the group energy for widening the audience but for expressing their own concepts at an upper class standard.

It is a band with a remarkable capacity to look at a song motive from different angles and then to lift it up - usually in contemplative (or even 'meditative' as a very competent friend suggested me) steps - to higher levels. A main band hallmark is that it frequently succeeds to assort in an original and truly recognizable manner these peak points with brilliant fluid and even magmatic passages.

A special mention for their presumed hard preparation work: carefully selected transitions between passages and delightful assorted atmospheric backgrounds are in detail arranged for emphasizing these 'climax' moments.

One may argue that sometimes 7 FOR 4 may sound like Rush or Malmsteen, like moments of Derek Sherinian and Planet X, like Focus (in their elevated sequences) or even like the much colder Liquid Tension Experiment etc. I would not contradict them at all but in this case these similarities have no negative connotation (as the lack of ideas) but rather prove this band positive chameleonic capacity to explore, in a fine and exquisite manner, divers corners of good prog music making use of its members' impressive virtuosity. Among them Wolfgang Zenk glares as his astonishing versatility that covers an incredible wide range of guitar techniques is breaking all barriers between artist and instrument leaving free way to express his ideas.

In conclusion, although they have not quite opened a new door, their very high quality music and genuine approach combined with a distinctive expression stile are strongly recommending them for listeners and for a reconsideration of their recognition at a higher level.

Their first album, CONTACT (2001), is simply a gem to which, if the site had allowed, I would have offered 4.5 stars because it clearly reflects the before mentioned conclusion.

If I would go higher with the appreciations you would be probably inclined to look cautious. Therefore, with apologies for the limits coming from the fact that I am not a English mother tongue speaker, I am inviting you, despite possible preconceived ideas, to allow your precious time for listening this sensational band starting with this album that fully deserves your attention.

X Dreams = setting from the beginning the band's overall approach: introspective and atmospheric track with thematic transpositions are capturing the listener in a flight over the expected borders. The well positioned in between tempo cuts reminds us the main motive and are linked through elegant and inspired transition passages. One of this band highlights.

Tokamak = a half step aside the main line, a sample proving their capacity to compose songs with the mark 'speed & cold" that might have encouraged comparisons between them and Liquid Tension Experiment.

La Provence = starting with a nice classic motive (reminding of Focus) is then attaching some heavy rhythms - apparently changing the direction - for coming back before mid-track with the initial motive at higher speed and upper elevation. After a short dreaming moment a second tour is lifted up with the support of the foreground guitar that leads the fluid music being afterwards followed by some nice jazzy rhythms. A fine and creative idea and a proof of band's capacity to approach complex thematic explorations and one of the album peaks.

E-Ggyptian = flavour and energy spread over a complex technical texture. The Mediterranean motive from the beginning (as in Di Meola first albums) is mixed with high energy and fluid episodes (the fine mark of this band). Though one of the most appreciated songs by critics, the harsh jumps between those two facets does not allow the band to fully 'exploit' the whole potential of this valuable theme.

Highlands = again in the stream of this album with good passages and high level of emotion injected from its beginning. Very successful thematic variations doubled by nice contemplative approach. A title consonant with the message transferred and a beautiful lyric end.

Rushian = a sort of instigative beginning (a combination resulted from the oriental motive plus the obsessive background) used for further developments that reminds of Derek Sherinian's construction style. The passage in the middle sounds a little bit like Straits' Telegraph Road and is followed by bright ascending spiral final part (a 7 FOR 4 hallmark).

Rockalaxy = the electric start on an anonymous speedy theme does not reveal the fine moody introspection searches it evolves afterwards. Theatrical orchestral passages combined with fluid guitar transitions are framing these different style sequences. The jump between sensible sequences and the powerful ones are of wonderful quality. Without being a memorable track it proves the high standard and self confidence level the band has achieved.

Catking = surprisingly, a song with voices. Much darker, with many faster and technical passages is combining diverse stiles (with 7 FOR 4 fusion is as usually at ease ).

Subspace Distortion = a high speed start with lot of organ in the back followed by atmospheric interludes and then a bass preparation for Zenk's clear chords which turn soon into an energetic fluid magma that reveals us eventually the initial motive. A courageous and good ending song, not so comestible, that lets the door on the jar for future prospection.

Other reviews of 7 FOR 4 albums are on the way.

Mario R. | 5/5 |

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