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Bozzio Levin Stevens - Black Light Syndrome CD (album) cover

BLACK LIGHT SYNDROME

Bozzio Levin Stevens

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.81 | 77 ratings

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aapatsos
Special Collaborator
Prog Metal and Heavy Prog Teams
2 stars Jamming syndrome?

The 'disease' that usually strikes highly skilled musicians when forming a project, seems to have affected the trio in their first effort. Black Light Syndrome consists of 7 lengthy (the shortest being almost 8 min.!) experimental tracks with no particular strict structure, showing a 'spontaneous' approach taken by the artists. This sounds more like a 'live' recording, while it is obvious that the three virtuosos are enjoying themselves throughout the album. Their fusion/rock output is built within a relatively 'dull' moody atmosphere and is dominated by a constant medium speed tempo.

Guitars are playing the major part in this effort, while Bozzio and Levin keep the steady rhythm section for Stevens to improvise. The pretty 'numb' start of the album never really evolves to more interesting ideas, while in the rest of the record, there are no signs of 'resurrection'. The first flamenco touches are given by Stevens in Duende, but the track ranges in slow, indifferent vibes, thus, the beauty of the guitar arrangements never show up. After the title track, which continues on the same tempo, Falling in Circles is the first impressive stop point. A dark feeling is communicated through this track, with samples adding to the atmosphere, while the guitar work is very diverse, ranging from hard rock tunes to a la King Crimson passages. Book of Honours is the second classic-guitar-based track, but as its predecessor, has nothing new to add, flowing indifferently. giving its place to heavier and jazzier tunes in the ending track, which indeed has some interesting experimental moments.

There are a few good ideas in this album, however, I have the feeling that they are 'loose' and never made into 'proper' pieces of music. Fans of experimental, instrumental fusion albums will probably like this one, as it consists of high-level musicianship and improvisation. I would not recommend this to the rest, as, apart from 'Falling in Circles' I struggled to find something that will really excite me. Situation Dangerous, the project's second effort, shows all these elements that are missing from here.

aapatsos | 2/5 |

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