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An Endless Sporadic - Magic Machine CD (album) cover

MAGIC MACHINE

An Endless Sporadic

 

Progressive Metal

3.84 | 38 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

BrufordFreak
4 stars The polished, computer-supported cinematic sound of Guitar Hero contributor and Berklee School of Music grad Zach Kamins here finds contributions from more than a dozen well-known professionals. The problem is that I have a little trouble connecting to all of this super-fast-changing music. It sounds like modern compressed, sound byte- oriented music, intended for masses who have attention spans of no more than 20 seconds, not the prog rock that I am used to or comfortable with--much in the same way Jem Godfrey's FROST* project has evolved into compacting 7- and 8-minute songs into four minute blurts. Stylistically, Zach reminds me of ANTHONY PHILLIPS's keyboard work only speeded up to 45 or even 78 rpm. I find no really weak songs, per se, but a lot of disjointed or cheezy/computerized shifts and structures--that is, half the time I feel exactly as if I'm listening to a video game soundtrack--albeit a high quality, highly skilled, complex soundtrack--and the other some nice cinema soundtrack music composed and performed by highly skilled musicians.

1. "The Departure" (5:54) powerful, dynamic, hook-filled opener (is a little fast and sudden in its shifts). (9/10)

2. "Magic Machine" (5:04) opening like an overture to a Broadway musical, employing some very nice transitions and instrumental performances--up to the 1:30 mark when two ridiculously cheesy sounding keyboards take over-- taking us into the Outer Limits. The guitar work starting at 2:50 tries to right the wrongs accrued and the song does play out fairly well. (9/10)

3. "Galactic Tactic" (3:06) playing out like a monster film soundtrack (9/10)

4. "Finding The Falls" (5:35) a delightfully cinematic piece in the vein of ESTRADASPHERE, LEBOWSKI and ATOMIC APE (9/10)

5. "The Assembly" (5:14) another pleasant cinematic song turned on its heels in the fourth minute by "popcorn" like metal turns of events--such a mishmash of moods and styles (7/10)

6. "Agile Descent" (4:15) starts out gently, then gets funky, even jazzy, before going bonkers at 3:35. (7/10)

7. "Sky Run" (8:54) an example of how Zach can create some really good songs if he were to stretch things out over a longer period of time--this despite his typical impatience or intolerance for long, drawn out passages. (9/10)

8. "Through The Fog" (4:19) the first half of this song remains quiet, subtle, and slow--signs of great restraint--but then it all breaks loose into the typical Mario mayhem (8/10)

9. "Sea Voyage" (2:54) whimsy and good mood (8/10)

10. "Impulse II" (4:27) This is the best song on the album but it still sounds like a video soundtrack to me. (10/10)

I'm a little unsettled that this could be the direction of progressive rock music for the future. I am a creature that loves space, pregnant pauses, even silence, stillness, and slow development. I find the quick stop-and-change formats here to be quite unsettling, sometimes unnerving, though, again, I truly appreciate the talent and skill required to both compose and perform these challenging pieces.

A very good, solid four star album.

BrufordFreak | 4/5 |

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