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Deluge Grander - The Form Of The Good CD (album) cover

THE FORM OF THE GOOD

Deluge Grander

 

Symphonic Prog

3.83 | 125 ratings

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maribor1
4 stars Deluge Grander is a relatively young American band led by keyboard wizard Dan Britton. The band was formed in Baltimore in 2005 and in September the following year they already released their debut effort, entitled ?August in the Urals?, to much critical acclaim. Less than three years after the debut, Deluge Grander honour us with another album, this time called ?The Form of the Good?.

Dan Britton still remains the band leader, as he wrote most of the material himself and has the biggest instrumental role on his keyboards. However, without the rest of the band this would not be such a noteworthy effort. Although there were quite a few guests already on the first album, adding some fine instruments, this album is even more diverse in that respect and the guests add an additional symphonic flair to the music and make it more majestic.

Stylistically, you could say that, although mostly classified as a symphonic band, Deluge Grander seem like a mixture of symphonic stylings and some avant-garde approaches. The keyboards definitely give a touch of the symphonic at most times, with great use of organ, the mellotron and piano, but Britton can be menacing in a more adventurous manner on the same instruments, making one think of the great moments of King Crimson (especially the mellotron use) and even Magma (certain electric piano segments are reminiscent). This is a very intriguing combination of two quite opposite poles in the progressive world (even though some other bands have done the same), but the prospect of fusing these two poles correctly is mouth-watering. It becomes even more appealing when you hear the music, which is everything it promises to be ? the perfect fusion of symphonic and avant-garde.

You might think that with all these guests on the album, the core of the band would be slightly overshadowed. But the moment you hear the opening notes of ?Before the Common Era?, you become aware that those worries were unfounded. Dan Britton is still the main man with his multitude of various keyboards. He?s not a Wakeman or Emerson character. His style is much more subdued and refined, perhaps even reminiscent of Tony Banks. Sometimes his lines remind me of the lines in Magma?s music, particularly the electric piano bits. The rest of the band fits well with Britton?s vision of the music. The most notable element is the guitarist, who comes up with some great solo melodies and some heavy riffs. The rhythm section is extremely tight. I am particularly impressed with Patrick Gaffney, the drummer. His drumming really draws you in and I don?t say this for many drummers. The guests on the album are very important as well. The choral arrangements are beautiful and haunting (reminiscent of Guapo?s work on Elixirs), while the strings and other additional instruments add a more symphonic flavour.

As I already mentioned, Deluge Grander try to fuse together the symphonic and avant-garde sides of progressive rock. They do this superbly, but you can still see certain influences coming through. I for one hear some elements of Yes, Genesis and Kansas on the symphonic front and King Crimson when it comes to the more experimental side. As I said before, I also hear certain elements of Magma in the music, but that might be stretching it a bit. In any case, whatever Dan and the rest of the band set out to do, it works extremely well for me.

From all the bands that I?ve heard attempt this same crossover between experimental music and symphonic progressive rock, Deluge Grander are one of the best. They play their own style, which is neither too experimental neither too symphonic. They bridge the genre gap effortlessly and have produced a fine album that will appeal to fans of symphonic progressive music, as well as fans of more adventurous styles. If I were to judge solely on the strength of this effort, I?d have to say that Deluge Grander are one of the best in the game and I can only hope they keep producing such intelligent and thought-provoking music.

maribor1 | 4/5 |

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