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Jargon - The Fading Thought CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

4.04 | 85 ratings

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4 stars Though familiar from the their work with Verbal Delirium, this is considered a solo effort from one of the VD members, singer-pianist Jargon. From Greece, the lineup includes the often subtle contributions of guitarist extraordinaire Nikitas Kissonas (who has his own page on PA as "Methexis"). (I have to admit, that alone got me excited enough to check this album out.) What turns out to be the biggest shocker is the tremendous effect Nikitas' strings arrangements have on the music--on the whole album. The pervasive and often predominant chamber music feel is, to my mind, a strength of this album as well as a display of one of the greatest means to the full realization of the potentialities of progressive rock music: the successful blending of classical with rock.

1. "The Film" (5:33) opens with beautiful grand piano playing in a soft, warm, romantic classical style. In the second minute Jargon's piano is joined by strings--most prominently a viola--and in the third minute cello. An absolutely gorgeous chamber song. At the 3:00 mark there is a slight shift as piano works back into the lead while high-register long-sustained violin notes provide the accompaniment until 3:57 when the rest of the strings joins in to create an absolutely stunning harmonic weave. Wow! What am I in for?! (10/10)

2. "In Search of the Invisible Thin Line" (4:53) piano and strings punctuated by rock band instruments to create a dramatic weave over which Jargon sings in a plaintive though restrained tenor. (I say "restrained" because I can tell he has much more power in reserves--which he begins to hint more at in the chorus.) After the second verse and chorus an instrumental passage ensues that is quite theatric in its arrangement and use of frequent punctuated "bridges" threaded within the otherwise smooth flow of the chamber composition. Such a refined composition! It's only shortfall is in the fact that Jargon never really lets go to reveal the full power of his voice (and, I must admit, the lack of any "breakout" moments for guitarist Nikitas Kissonas). (9/10)

3. "Dance of the Framed Words" (2:38) Theatric-cabaret-like instrumental dance interlude with some nice guitar fire in the second minute and beyond. Nikitas goes from from raunchy, slash style to screaming infinity guitar and then frantic Robert Fripp all in two minutes! (4.5/5)

4. "The Fading Thought" (7:17) There's a bit of QUEEN/LUCIFER'S FRIEND in the sound and stylings within this one before it goes to an instrumental section at 1:20. Nice guitar over the brooding piano-jazz foundation. When vocals return it's a powerful MATTHEW PARMENTER-like performance (especially in the choruses) over some very DISCIPLINE-like music. This is remarkable! One of the best songs I'ver heard from 2020! (14.75/15)

5. "Light" (3:54) piano and strings in a more uptempo chamber arrangement. Beautiful! (8.75/10)

6. "Time Is Running Out" (6:54) a classic art rock song base that sounds as if it comes from both 1970s QUEEN and PETER HAMMILL with several strong hints of BURT BACHARACH's orchestral charts. Jargon feels as if he's losing his momentum in the sixth minute but is saved by the instrumental finish. (13.75/15)

7. "How Can I?" (6:22) a more JOHN TOUT/RENAISSANCE-like classical bombast opening (with a "Mother Russia"-like chord base), pulls away for the entrance of Jargon's whispered vocal. In very short order, the song bursts forth into a heavy, more DISCIPLINE-like palette and feel as both Jargon and Nikitas let loose with impassioned vocals and emotional lead guitar performances, respectively. A quiet interlude in the fifth minute allows for some ominous That Joe Payne-like vocal theatrics (demonic laughing) and music before we break back into the full-scale sonic barrage for the finale. Wow! That went by so fast! Very powerful! During the third and fourth listens I was able to really appreciate all that the strings brings to support the power and emotion of this song. Astonishing! All that progressive rock music should aspire to. (9.5/10)

8. "The Last Temptation" (7:10) more beautiful cooperation between piano and strings opens this before giving way to a piano-only-supported low register vocal entrance. The second verse brings in the strings and while Jargon doubles his voice to sound like the lead vocalist from either PHIL LYNOTT (THIN LIZZY) or the 1980s band LOVERBOY. The choruses only reconfirm Jargon's Matthew Parmenter connection. The middle section surprises me a little with its continued repetition of the previous sections, but the choruses continue to help me avoid getting bored. At the 5:00 mark there is a pause and then launch into a very DISCIPLINE-like emphatic chorus. Then the song smooths out into a kind of traditional rock jam-outro with slow fade and rather sudden cut into the album's final song. (13.25/15)

9. "Window to the World" (4:54) probably my least favorite song on the album as it pounds its music and impassioned message of personal philosophy into my brain with little or no let up or mercy. (8.5/10)

Total Time 49:35

Wonderfully dramatic song constructs exploring the best combinations and permutations of classical piano and string quartet with bombastic prog rock instruments and styles. Though Discipline and Peter Hammill come to mind often, the music here stands amazingly well on its own--holds no debts or allegiances to anyone else. Plus, there is also an oft-present artistic flair more akin to Freddy Mercury and Queen.

A-/five stars; a minor masterpiece of masterfully constructed progressive rock music--one of the best albums you'll hear from 2020! Jargon and his team are a revelation--they're genius!

BrufordFreak | 4/5 |


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