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Trioscapes - Digital Dream Sequence CD (album) cover




Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.76 | 16 ratings

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Antonis Kalamoutsos
4 stars Before I go on explaining how crazy this album is, I have to clarify that I'm not one those who believe that technicality is the decisive factor for good progressive music. So, I would be the first to raise the question: '' OK, three more virtuosos, what's the big deal? We have listened to countless virtuosos in the past.'' Well, there are two crucial elements that not only distinguish Trioscapes from many other fusion bands but make them a quite unique case.

The element of aggressiveness. Their playing is so aggressive that easily could match an extreme metal act, still Trioscapes is a band without guitars. Most of the times they play their instruments at the very edge of being super technical and super loud at the same time. The sonic result is beyond description. You could put them in a compilation next to Meshuggah or Animals As Leaders and in another, next to the noisy moments of John Zorn, Frank Zappa or King Crimson, they would fit in the exact same way! I guess that old school fusion fans will not like this but Trioscapes is not a traditional fusion band.

The sound. Beyond the overall excellent production, all musicians use extensively a wide range of effects, distortions, reverbs, delays, echoes, synth effects, just name it. This offers a very modern aspect of a fusion trio, enriches the compositions and making many parts more interesting and boosts their creativity. I'd say that this particular use of technology provides music with a sci-fi atmosphere at some times.

''OK, three virtuosos with mechanical excellence. What about musicality?'' To be honest, at the first notes of the first track ''Digital Dream Sequence'', while I was amazed, I feared that listening to this extremity for 42 minutes would leave me with a headache. I was wrong. There are many parts that the band slows down a bit, wonderful straighter grooves here and there and melodic, atmospheric passages that help the compositions flow and breathe. About 10-15 % of their music consists of such atmospheric parts. My personal taste indicates that if this percentage could rise to 30-40 %, Trioscapes would start to approach a 5 star rating. Anyway, extraordinary technique and sound combined with really good structures and ideas create an explosive result, you will never get bored and music will keep you tight to your seat.

5 tracks, almost 42 minutes of total running time. All tracks stand about at the same level of quality. I like most the 9 minutes long ''From the earth to the moon'' as it features the most straight grooves and themes, creating very beautiful and quite spacey/trippy soundscapes. The opening track after 4 minutes of intensity presents a magnificent theme, melodic and powerful that leads the rest of the composition. ''Stab wound'' is a small sized beast with terrible claws but you'll also find ethereal flutes in it, while ''Hysteria'' has a bad temper too, delivering probably the album's heavier moment. The 15 minutes long ''The Jungle'' that closes the album sums up all Trioscapes' different faces, built upon an ecstatic tribal orgy. I would definitely need a bit more melodies on this one.

I really hope this project lasts and stands the test of time, as it may produce wonders. Trioscapes' members are highly skilled and talented and I don't see reason why not exceed their talents. A special reference to Briggs, whose bass guitar is an absolute monster, making him one of the most intriguing bassists on the planet. I encourage anyone involved with extreme prog music not to miss it. This album personally left me wondering: ''Could this be the future of technical music?''

Antonis Kalamoutsos | 4/5 |


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