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The Gourishankar - Close Grip CD (album) cover

CLOSE GRIP

The Gourishankar

 

Eclectic Prog

3.67 | 76 ratings

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UMUR
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This is a re-release of The Gourishankarīs debut album from 2003. Close Grip has been remastered and an extra song has been added. Iīve listened very little to 2nd Hands which is their second and very praised album, but Close Grip sounds really good.

The music is very eclectic even though I was wondering at first why The Gourishankar was in that catagory. I thought this sounded like progressive metal the first time I listened to the album, but after a couple of spins I have a different view on Close Grip. There is definitely a progressive metal edge to their music and in that respect The Gourishankar reminds me of another eclectic prog rock band and thatīs the swedish band A.C.T. I would like to mention two albums that I think The Gourishankar are very influenced by here. Dream Theaterīs Images and Words and Hold Your Fire by Rush. The influence from Rush is mostly due to Vlad MJ Whinerīs voice and the vocal melodies while there are many hints to the early melodic Dream Theater.

Itīs not easy to describe the style played on Close Grip though because even though I feel The Gourishankar are heavily influenced by both Dream Theater and Rush there are also other styles involved. What about a wailing almost avant garde Sax Solo in Insomnia or a the little jazz section in Wind of night. This is truly and eclectic prog rock album. I think there is coherence though and the experiments never get out of hand.

The quality in songwriting are generally very high and songs like Insomnia, Sweet Earth and Wind of Night proves this fully. I do feel The Gourishankar was still a bit imature on this album and I find a song like Autumn Frost a bit incoherent. Gripped By Fear and In the Hope are short instrumental pieces which are not that exciting really. Close to Death is a mood setter and a nice little song but again nothing special. The bonus track is a cover of Gentle Giantīs For Nobody from The Missing Piece. One of the few truly progressive songs from that album. As a big Gentle Giant fan I was excited to see that The Gourishankar had made a cover of For Nobody. Itīs a song I like very much. I think The Gourishankar does the right thing with For Nobody as it is recognizable but ultimately very different from the original. A good choice.

The musicians are outstanding. The drummer, The keyboardist, The Guitarist and the Geddy Lee sounding singer are all very competent musicians. Iīm especially very impressed with the keyboardist Doran Usher who seems like he is very busy with the programming and his melodic synth playing. When music is as keyboard heavy as it is on Close Grip it is important to have a keyboard player like Doran Usher who knows how to make catchy, memorable and melodic music.

The production is good, but the sound on the vocals are a bit weak at times.

This is a very good album from a band I have only recently been introduced to. I think it is highly recommendable and especially fans of late eighties Rush and the early Dream Theater should be able to find listening pleasure here. I know I did. 4 stars for this excellent album is a matter of course.

UMUR | 4/5 |

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