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Embryo - Rocksession  CD (album) cover




Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.05 | 63 ratings

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Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Following in the footsteps of the previous album "Steig Aus", Embryo continued to dig deeper and deeper in their jazz and fusion interest in order to firmly establish their voice in Germany's avant-garde scene. The stylish derivation that had been subtly increased with each one of their first three albums had finally come to its fruition in the exciting, refreshing "Steig Aus" effort, and now "Rocksession" has the mission to reinforce it. This fifth album is full of beauty, ethereal vibrations and vibrant enthusiasm from beginning to end. The standards of psychedelic frenzy and explosiveness are toned down, compared to the band's first three albums, but the energy and impulse remain patent and relevant for Embryo's nuclear sound. One main focus regarding the instrumental deliveries is to let each individual shine without breaking the general mood. The African-Muslim exoticism of 'A Place to Go!' exhibits an amazing ethnic colorfulness, recycled through an aura of mystery: this jazz vibe is notably influenced by Weather Report. It is just a pity that this attractive motif doesn't get developed beyond the 4 minute mark. 'Entrances' is a much longer piece, during a quarter of an hour. The band keeps exploring the Weather Report thing, with extra touches of Miles Davis and early Return to Forever. No doubt that Christian Burchard's heart and mind were akin to the avant-garde jazz work developed in the USA by the time. Jackson is heavily featured in his electrifying Hammond organ labor (that distorted vibrato states a very surreal atmosphere in many places), while Burchard displays a resource of complexity with his clever syncope tricks and fills. For the last part, Hoffmann delivers a beautiful sax solo that helps the track preserve its essential candor all the way towards the fade-out. Hoffmann assumes a more prominent role for 'Warm Canto', where he plays the violin (his most recurrent instrument). The basic motif is very beautiful, with a relaxing mode that allows the band to explore its introspective facet. The organ solo is mostly an expansion on the violin motif, while the simultaneous leads on guitar and electric piano are based on fluid chord progressions delivered with unsuspecting ease. At some point, the entry of the vibraphone forces the violin to retake the main motif and reshape it in the for together with the guitar: this interaction brings a particular warmth to the track's final minutes. I'm really convinced that this is one of the most moving Embryo pieces ever. 'Dirge' is yet another candid, introspective number that states the band's reflective side, adding a funky vibe that is managed in an exquisite manner. In this way, 'Dirge' complements and completes the soaring aura that had already been displayed in the preceding piece. All in all, while not as explosive as the preceding cornerstone album "Steig Aus", "Rocksession" is an excellent example of Embryo on top of their game.
Cesar Inca | 4/5 |


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