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Kinetic Element - The Face Of Life CD (album) cover

THE FACE OF LIFE

Kinetic Element

 

Neo-Prog

3.41 | 22 ratings

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TenYearsAfter
3 stars Kinetic Element is a four piece formation from the USA that was founded in 2006, in order to support keyboard player Mike Visaggio's solo CD entitled Starship Universe, released in 2006. The band performed at several festivals, did a lot of gigs and was the support-act of progrock bands Circa, IZZ and Nektar. Their repertoire contained Mike's album plus classic rock and prog covers and new material, this led to the release of Kinetic Element's debut CD Powered By Light in 2009. I wrote this many years ago about that debut CD: 'If you like Seventies Progrock (ELP, Yes, Genesis) with the focus on vintage keyboards (like Triumvirat and early Le Orme), this is an album to check out.' Meanwhile Kinetic Element released their highly acclaimed second album entitled Travelog in 2015 (I am not familiar with this effort), played on the festivals ROSFest (2016) and Progtoberfest (2017) and released a new album in 2019, named The Face Of Life (also on vinyl). New members are guitarist Peter Matuchniak (born in Poland) and Saint John Coleman on vocals). In this new line-up Kinetic Element will perform on the Progstock festival (featuring bands like Saga, Brand-X, Phideaux, Nektar and the sensational Rachel Flowers), as The Late NIght Event, in October 2019.

In the first composition Epistle newbie Saint John Coleman immediately puts his mark on the music with his distinctive voice: slightly theatrical and often a bit high pitched. His omnipresent voice turns Kinetic Elements sound more into song-oriented melodic rock. But in the instrumental parts symphonic rock reigns, these musicians can play, and know their classics (Yes, Genesis, Gentle Giant)!

In the following two epic, 24-carat symphonic rock rooted compositions All Open Eyes and the titletrack singer Saint John lacks a bit power in the more dynamic parts, in which we can enjoy a growling bass, powerful drums, fiery electric guitar and sumptuous Hammond layers, this is strong Old School prog, especially Yes. But also Spock's Beard and Glasshammer (no coincidence that Babb and Schendel did the mixing) come to my mind: a Seventies prog inspired sound featuring many instrumental interludes, loaded with shifting moods, from mellow with tender piano to bombastic outbursts with sensational Minimoog flights.

Mike does a great job with his outstanding work on piano, organ and synthesizers (including wonderful Mellotron samples on the Alesis), and Peter embellishes the music with tasteful and powerful guitar contributions.

The final two tracks Last Words and Lost Words (a bonus track) are short mellow pieces with warm piano work and Saint John his dreamy vocals, now close to Jon Anderson in his angelic range.

It's remarkable how different the prog reviewers on the Internet write about new singer Saint John, for him it looks like 'to be hailed or to be nailed, that's the question'. So please check out their excellent website, listen to the samples, then make your final judgement. Apart from some critical remarks about Saint John his vocals, I am very pleased with this very solid Old School symphonic rock.

My rating: 3,5 star.

This review was recently published in a slightly different version on the Dutch progrock website Background Magazine.

TenYearsAfter | 3/5 |

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