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Advent - Advent CD (album) cover

ADVENT

Advent

 

Eclectic Prog

2.99 | 30 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

tszirmay
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars If there ever was a case for the defense and edification of prog, then this debut from New Jersey amateur musicians certainly would be a fine cause célèbre! All lovingly put together with joyous celebration and what have they chosen as influence and inspiration? The poly harmonic troubadours, Gentle Giant! Ambitious, you bet your freeway! The medieval cover drollery is enough to get the charm flowing, and from the opening bars of the splendid "the Maginot Line", one is thrown into the maelstrom of undulating rhythms, surging choruses and swelling themes. One has to nevertheless forgive the rather muddy production as this was an entirely homemade product. The drums are another sore point, heavily rigid and sounding often like electronic programming, even though a drummer (Mike Carroll) is credited. "Alison Waits" is a nearly 10 minute affair that glides along on Alan Benjamin, Henry and Mark Ptak's dense keyboard interplay, where organ (mostly the church-organ patches), piano and synths combine to weave some serious sonic tapestries with occasional burst from the electric guitar. "Rear View Mirror" is a short, mostly vocal arrangement that evolves into a pastoral Anthony Phillips-like reverie. "Trompe L'Oeil" is another viable piece that oozes class, even though it may sound a tad dated today (what doesn't?), what with the buzzing bass and the wheezy synths, almost funky chorus displaying a playful unpretentiousness that breathes a little freshness, until the Holdsworthian lead creeps through the door. The next two tracks, while still maintaining the attention, are not as strong as the preceding material, breezing along with a bit of complacency, still highly polyrhythmic but way less complex than the "Mild Colossus". A brisk fret solo does highlight "Nowhere Else to Go" in an otherwise unproblematic romp. "In the Tree" really shines on the vocal level, obviously "acquiring the taste of the three friends" but not enough to peel the paint right off from 10 miles away. Strangely, this is not a harsh criticism but rather an august observation, as there are very few professional bands anywhere who are capable of emulating Giant's ridiculously multipart craft. "Marche to the Fighte" is a welcome instrumental dive into a more medieval/classical style with broad romantic frills and the companion segment "The Retreat" signals a more cinematographic element to the whole, giving the recording some much needed breath. In fact, the very brief "Caminando" sounds almost Gryphon-ish in its playfulness. Of course, the Jersey boys lovingly toss in their cover of Giant's "Boys in the Band" and do a fantastic job(mind you, it takes 3 guys to play Minnear parts!), sticking initially close to the original and then veering off into a ELP-like swirl mid-section that has "We enjoy this" all over it. When the vocal harmonies kick in, you know exactly which regal raconteur/troubadour they are kneeling to. You can only encourage such devotion. Oh, yeah, love the artwork, one of my favorite covers . Because there is lots of legitimate amusement in the air and the boys really display their emotions vividly, I frankly give this recording easily 3.5 Panurges
tszirmay | 3/5 |

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