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Spektrum - Spektrum CD (album) cover





3.54 | 29 ratings

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4 stars An Excellent Album that IQ Fans Would Love .

Yeah .another prog band from Sweden!!! And. it's a good one man!!! Well, I strongly believe that Sweden has the highest index in number of progheads (good quality ones) per capita. That's my guess and I think I'm pretty close with my guesstimate. Some musicians involved in this band have been around in the prog scene in their own bands ie. CROSS, GALLEON and GRAND STAND plus female lead singer Lizette von Panajott. Poor me, I have never heard the music of any one of previous bands, so I cannot comment how deep the influence in styles and songwriting from previous bands to SPEKTRUM. What I have researched about the history of the band was that there were talks among the members on topic of musical creation they individually made that did not really fit with the format of their individual band. So, why don't we form a collaborative efforts to form an album? The result is a Sweden-based collaboration, a bit different (by concept) with Trans Atlantic as Spektrum members are coming from the same country.

So here I am, giving my views (and possibly thoughts?) with a fresh look as I have never known the musicians before. As I learn from the net, the name Spektrum refers to the optical term and also the different musical background of the musicians contribute the band. Is it band or project? Well, let's see .. as this album was released approx two years ago and seems no further development since then.

On musical influence, I would say it's mostly from Genesis. To be specific, I hear many segments or nuance that resemble The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, Wind and Wuthering albums even also on post Hackett era: And Then There Were Three. The other point that I need to add, whether or not the musicians are aware of, there are bits of keyboard patterns that remind me to ROYAL HUNT's Andre Andersen. I know, these two bands are totally in the different musical vein and luckily I have been enjoying both veins really well so I can smell of it. For those of you who are similar with me in terms of musical taste, will definitely agree that the keyboard patterns of the final track "Chemical Release" reminds us to Royal Hunt music from Moving Target album. To give a close picture about how the band sounds, it's basically an IQ music with female vocal. Yeah, I think that's about correct. You probably think that with female vocal it should sound like Magenta. Unfortunately it's NOT. It's more similar to IQ.

Spektrum (Music: Anderson / Cross) is a very short overture that plays its role as atmosphere setter for the whole album. It's a very nice overture that I think if it's extended another one minute to include with some sort of Hackettian howling guitar sounds would be extremely excellent. But, this 22 seconds overture is not bad at all.

Land of Longing (Music: Cross / Anderson / Fors; Words: Anderson / Cross) starts off with an upbeat tempo music in a rocking mood, soft guitar riffs and solo that brings a catchy melody on the opening part. Keyboard plays its role as a filler of symphonic style, played at the background music. The duo vocal line enters the music augmented with some melodic chords played at the back and in between lyrical verses. The music flows pretty smooth with insertion of some tasty melody by keyboard / guitar on transition pieces. Structure-wise, this song is bit unusual as with 5 minute duration, there is no "long" interlude. However, the band replaces it with some longer transition pieces. It's an excellent album opener.

Now (Music & Words: Cross) begins with an ambient keyboard sounds followed with low register notes voice line sung clearly by Panajott. The music turns in a faster tempo with an energetic rhythm section on neo prog style. Keyboard consistently produces symphonic nuance at the back during lyrical passage and sometimes turn into an organ style. The song includes a quiet passage followed with a medium tempo and energetic singing. The guitar solo performed in the middle of the track is simple yet it's enjoyable to listen to. It is then followed with a Tony Banks'-like keyboard solo. Oh man . this keyboard solo is really catchy and reminds me to Genesis music. The guitar solo performed as continuation of this catchy keyboard solo is also wonderful. Stunning!

Perpetuum Mobile (Music: Johnson) is a melodic music with no lyrics. It starts with a sort of baby doll's music box. It continues with a keyboard work in a mellow style. The first half of the music explores the work of keyboard. The music flows nicely and features stunning guitar solo at the end of the track and it's closed off with baby doll's music box.

The Quest (Music & Words: Anderson / von Panajott) starts with a firm keyboard sound with sort of space nuance to feature Panajott's powerful vocal augmented with solid basslines. The keyboard sounds continue in the style of opening part and it forms a nice textures of the music. Panajott demonstrates her capability to sing in a high register note. The interlude part is begun with a nice transition piece using keyboard and followed with melodic keyboard solo before it returns back to high register notes singing. At the end of singing verse, the guitar continues with stunning solo until the music ends. One thing to note here is the beginning guitar solo at approx. 3:47 reminds me to "IT" from Genesis' The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway.

Ivory Tower (Music: Cross / von Panajott; Words: von Panajott / Cross) is another good neo prog track great melody and neat arrangements. It flows from a relatively quiete passage into a more louder music but in a slow-medium tempo. Acoustic guitar is used in between transition and it helps enrich the song textures. At approx minute 3:01 the guitar solo starts to insert its sound to the music in alternate with Floydian keyboard sounds. It's a wonderful sounds in this part. Yes, I think this track is influenced by Pink Floyd. I do enjoy the stunning guitar solo that brings the song to an end.

A Chemical Release (Music: Anderson / von Panajott; Words: von Panajott) is performed in a rocking style with an energetic vocal power. Panajott's voice is excellent in performing this track. The rhythm section is hard driving with relatively fast speed. The keyboard patterns remind me to Royal Hunt's Andre Andersen and in some segments are Tony Banks.It's truly a symphonic prog music with catchy melody and an uplifting mood. Guitar style is very close with Steve Hackett, performing its sound at the background, combined with a stunning keyboard.

SPEKTRUM is a band with a lot of potential as this debut album proves their virtuosity in creating a melodic symphonic neo prog music where its music is refreshing. All musicians contribute their best with an excellent arrangement. Basslines are solid, drumming is dynamic, guitar is stunning with a style of Hackett and a bit of Gilmour, keyboard is powerful with variation of textures and layers, vocal quality is excellent. Anyone who loves neo prog or IQ, would agree with that this is an excellent addition to any prog collection. I'm keen to know the band's future release. Keep on proGGin' .!!!

Yours progressively,


Gatot | 4/5 |


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