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Fatal Fusion - Total Absence CD (album) cover

TOTAL ABSENCE

Fatal Fusion

 

Crossover Prog

3.68 | 51 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

PH
5 stars FATAL FUSION have pulled off a stunner with the third studio album 'Total Absence' that checks in at seven compositions and high praise- worthy 56-plus min. What makes this new disk really special is the refreshing blend of diverse influences as well as portrayed emotion, added to challenging songs and great performances. The cohesive material shines through, especially when heard straight from the very first number to the last one. Fittingly enough, the album kicks off with a mysterious overture to showcase what Fatal Fusion are capable of. Played with sheer authority, the instrumental piece 'The Gates Of Ishtar' brings a predominant Arabian feel, providing a somewhat ominous atmosphere. Symphonic set-up is followed by martially sounding track 'Shadow Of The King', to recall the Rainbow's musical blueprint which functions like a mid-tempo rocker. From its outset, there's a solid build up featuring impeccable guitar work (Stig Selnes), huge keyboards (Erlend Engebretsen), intensive power of rhythm section (Audun Engebretsen / Lasse Lie). The structural components are fitted together perfectly, the ensemble accomplishes its mission enabling Knut Erik Grøntvedt to deliver his remarkable vocal style. A bit hoarse voice gives another sort of momentum. Next up, 'Forgotten One' adorned by prominent sound of flute. To a certain extent, it betrays an influence from Jethro Tull. Besides, The Windmill kept coming to my mind while listening to this catchy song. Afterward, sparkling 'Astral Flight', based on the reveries and instrumental grooves. A typical Jadis manner prevails, though the experimental section in vein of TFK is also present. The guitar wiz Stig Selnes and key virtuoso Erlend Engebretsen are in the spotlight, filling the air with depth and colour. Permanently audible, bassist Lasse Lie and drummer Audun Engebretsen supplement a dynamic dimension. The lead singer is kept aside here. Moving on. 'The Emperor's Letter' balances between mellow Spock's Beard and calm Salem Hill, before descending into absolute magic: flawless guitar solo is reminiscent of Steve Hackett. It brings goosebumps to my spine. Yet again, Knut Erik Grøntvedt affords a lyrical meaning to content. The further CD goes, the more intriguing it becomes. Depicting different emotional states, a lengthy composition 'Endless Ocean Blue' is a kind of prog-suite with its three acts ('Meditation', 'Ascension', 'Realization'). If you can mix Iluvatar, Marillion, Deep Purple and Pink Floyd, you will have a good idea for the general sound of this opus. The musicianship is still terrific, while Knut Erik pours his soul into every note he sings. By no coincidence, 'Total Absence' is the longest track on the whole album, clocking in at 15:30 min. Four parts ('Empty Houses, Empty Streets', 'Losing Faith', 'Night Must Fall', 'United We Stand') transfer into each other making the epic vertex. In musical ways, it largely leans on old Genesis and Dream Theater. Flows and ebbs with changes of pace and time- signatures. The front man sings with heart, creating the tangible imagery. It's curious to note, however, Fatal Fusion have decided to place a beautiful guitar solo in the final segment, providing a true Pendragon vibe. And when the music gradually fades away, you are left a fully delighted customer!!! All in all, this release is both very melodic and adventurous; it should deliver tons of enjoyment for progressive rock heads who chose to seek it out. Definitely recommended.
PH | 5/5 |

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