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Ovrfwrd - Fantasy Absent Reason CD (album) cover

FANTASY ABSENT REASON

Ovrfwrd

 

Heavy Prog

3.77 | 24 ratings

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LakeGlade12
4 stars 4.3 Stars. A big step up from their debut!

Ovrfwrd are an all-instrumental Prog band that play on the heavier side of the spectrum. Their first album "Beyond the Visible Light" showed their potential very well, with very high quality musicianship and the ability to switch from one heavy theme to another. However they had a few significant shortcomings that needed to be addressed; mainly that their songs were too similar in style and composition, and their quieter sections were not as developed and did not fit in as well with the rest of the songs. Fortunately on their second album they have managed to almost completely deal with these two negatives. Each of the five songs on the album has its own flavour and there not any big weak spots within the compositions.

The album starts with the title track which is also the longest song on the album, clocking in at nearly 17 min. It's here where the improvements to their songwriting is very clear to see. Unlike the previous album they take the time to develop each of the melodies they introduce and are careful to make sure they connect well with the previous melody. This allows them to slowly build on the intensity naturally which reaches its crescendo at around 14 min. Overall this is the most impressive song the band have created so far and it feels like a complete epic that justifies its length.

The next song "Brother Jack McDuff" is completely different to the last song and is almost completely devoted to one melody which the band plays around with. The track has a jam like quality to it, but despite the noodling it never goes into self-indulgence but instead sounds like a band having a lot of fun. Another great song and at this point the band have not really put a foot wrong.

Unlike the other two songs "Dust Nova" starts quietly with abstract guitar, piano and drums. They then introduce a peaceful tune which is given plenty of time to develop before they increase the intensity. Again this is a noticeable difference between their first and second album. On the first the soft and heavy sections would not have matched very well, but here they make sure their is a strong synchrony between the two which makes the development of the song seem much more organic and natural. Unlike most of their songs they do not reach a peak in their intensity and let the energy fade until they go back to the free-flow playing at the start of this song.

"Utopia Planitia" is the heaviest track on the album and has a more metal feel to it instead of hard-rock. They use wind instruments on the first part of the song to give it more Eastern feel, which works well. Midway though the song they introduce a great mid-tempo theme that shows off the tightness of band. Eventually they up the drama and go into full Prog-Metal territory, but as with all the previous songs everything feels natural and not over-done.

Up to this point this album was not far away from the 5 star zone, but sadly their last track "Creature Comforts" is definitely the weakest. Unlike any previous Ovrfwrd song there is no heaviness to be found and is meant to be a bit more gentle and pop-like. The problem lies in a few melodies they repeat over and over which are quite dull and grating to listen to.

Despite the weaker ending this is a excellent album and a huge improvement over their first. There is lots of first- class ideas and playing to be found here and the compositions are sound. If they keep improving at this rate then they will certainly become a big name in the future. This is a very solid 4 star album and I will be keeping an eye out for their future releases as a fan instead of a causal reviewer.

LakeGlade12 | 4/5 |

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