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Ovrfwrd - Blurring the Lines ... A Democracy Manifest CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

4.17 | 185 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars It's been a while since I reviewed Ovrfrwd's album, "Fantasy Absent Reason". It remember liking it enough that I considered buying a copy on CD but was swept away by other interests at the time. There's only so much music an income can buy!

So it was that I was checking my PA inbox and found not one but three messages from the band inviting me to listen to their recent releases. I had barely gotten the music settled in my computer when my hard drive crashed and I lost everything I hadn't stored away externally. So, with this new release sounding so good, I just went ahead and ordered three of the band's CDs. One victory for physical copies: hard drives may come and go but barring any disasters a CD collection lives on!

Now here it is, "Blurring the Lines", Ovrfrwd's 2018 release, their fourth album if I have that correctly and their latest offering of new studio material (a live DVD has since been released). This album is really a solid piece of work, in my opinion. It's all instrumental as are most of their recordings and does a splendid job of covering heavy and sometimes even dark prog rock as well as going classic prog crazy, light and beautiful, and even downright horror show spooky in places. Another review states that their music is based on simple rock compositions but cleverly sounds more complex and skillful. Honestly, I couldn't tell if these guys are top tier virtuosos or just really talented blokes down the street. What I can tell is that they have created possibly their best album to date with tracks that intrigue, captivate and surprise!

I'm just listening now to that spooky piano in "Return to Slender" and it feels like Mike Meyers (from Halloween not Wayne's World) is lurking outside the house. Then these really gritty guitar chords crunch in and the music crosses insane raunchy guitar with that spooky piano. This is followed by a beautiful, short acoustic guitar piece.

The opening track, "Wretch" is one of those modern-day prog rock tracks that gives us guitar melodies that come close to Pink Floyd at times while still being generally too active and busy to be confused with Pink Floyd. Meanwhile, down the track list, "The Trapper's Daughter" sounds like the band collaborated a bit with Trent Reznor with some cool industrial parts that work well with Ovrfrwd's blend of heavy prog and some instances of classic prog manoeuvres. "Forbidden Valley Opiate" opens with some speedy guitar supported by organ and some aggressive drumming. The track later becomes dramatic and grandiose in the final minutes.

One really cool surprise is, "Cosmic Pillow". Beginning with soothing sitar and some soft and beautiful piano, the track develops with tabla percussion and more developed piano before later turning into another crushing, dark piece, with some classic prog quirkiness about it. Then there's a Voivod-like guitar and the sky comes crashing down in sinister black clouds. It's a grand example of how Ovrfwrd can shift gears in their compositions, moving from relaxing and mind-soothing music to something that would make some people feel panicky.

The goes on with a very seventies-sounding intro to "Another Afterthought" that seems it will stay the course until once more the tones change and change again. I love music that keeps dropping in surprises and is unpredictable. Ovrfwrd are able to capture the nostalgic moods of the seventies, darker sounds of modern times, and paint moments of feel-good music and beauty. There's often a sense of blues rock / heavy psychedelic / jazz-inspired jamming, especially with the guitar and drums, while the piano and keyboards often hold down the moods and melodies.

Perhaps one point to note here is that this album features more tracks than their previous releases, meaning there are more shorter compositions than their older albums which had a lot more mini-epics. But that has no bearing on the quality of the music.

This is an album from which I can keep extracting goodies with each subsequent listen. Very suitable for my tastes!

FragileKings | 5/5 |


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