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Episode - Into the Epicenter CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.15 | 16 ratings

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Prog Metal and Heavy Prog Teams
3 stars The first Episode of this journey is worth taking. The debut album from this American band is an approach to neo-symphonic (often commercial) prog. Despite being released in 1989, the album is influenced by the 70's sound.

An interesting sequence of different sounds and moods is the dominant element in Riding the Falls, where initial flowing-water sounds give their place to soundtrack-like keyboards, and subsequently, to a 'typical' dynamic 70's symphonic prog piece. But there is more. Attractive female vocals accompanied by a folk background mix with a more neo-prog sound as the track goes on. Again a change of mood takes place during the last two minutes, to end this impressive sequence with a relaxing atmosphere.

Glass M Revisited is a mid-tempo, male-vocal based melodic track that moves away from the adventurous structure of the opening track, but still remains interesting in its own way. Typical melodic refrains and a symphonic/waltz interval after 3 minutes add to the quality. Have a Heart moves further into melody and harmonies reminding of Alan Parsons' good moments; a decent and pleasant ballad overall. On the contrary, the next track drives us back in a 70's 'Yes' sound with harsh symph music lines and a bit more complicated/sophisticated approach. but not for long as the two following songs fall again into more simple and lyrical paths including both male and female vocals, with Flight being the weakest despite the beautiful piano ending.

The sounds of nature in Mandlebroth are rapidly replaced by a well-structured instrumental ending track mainly influenced by ELP, accompanied by distinctive electric guitars; a great composition, bringing out a dramatic, but at the same time, a 'jamming' feeling by the band. Both quality and interest are kept on high levels from end to finish. I found myself enjoying this and the opening track more than any others; clearly the highlights in my opinion.

Overall, this is a good effort for a debut album. The main disadvantages of the record are the weak vocals at several points and the 'shallow' production. Apparently good but not essential for a prog fan, I, however, insist that this album is worth giving a spin (or more.).

aapatsos | 3/5 |


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