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Progression by Failure - Progression by Failure CD (album) cover

PROGRESSION BY FAILURE

Progression by Failure

 

Symphonic Prog

3.74 | 39 ratings

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Epignosis
Special Collaborator
Eclectic Prog Team
2 stars Keyboard-playing is a wonderful skill because one can generate a multitude of sounds, and in that department, Nicolas Piveteau excels. While the man behind this album is unquestionably talented, the product has a few glaring flaws: First, the album lacks a unifying coherence, although to be fair, the artist himself has claimed these pieces were written as tributes to a variety of bands. Hence, while one piece may sound like what is commonly called "retro prog," another piece will be a stab at progressive metal. Second, as a relatively lengthy album of keyboard-dominated instrumentals, tonal variety is all but missing despite the compositional variety. I feel other instruments, most notably guitars, would have injected fresh life into these generally respectable arrangements. Finally and perhaps most unfortunately, it is the most protracted piece that is the weakest, and not just mildly so, but more on that later.

"Intro" No frills here- this passage does exactly what it says it will. It introduces the music of the album with a few thunders of percussion.

"Dialog with a Selfish" Grating, frantic noises explode into action. When they clear out, only a stark piano and sinister background noises remain, but soon a whining synthesizer lead joins in. It becomes dissonantly noisy, laden with electronic sounds.

"Memories from the Future" This piece has a peppy, cheerful beginning, relying heavily on organ and a bouncy bass. Abruptly, the music stops and a lone piano takes over, slowly hammering out heavy chords and gentle single notes, with a soulful synthesizer solo to follow. The organ solo is absolutely masterful, as it is a demonstration of virtuosity without cramping the rest of the music.

"The Solitude of a Winter" While I'm not fond of the sound of the piano (it sounds far too digital, almost cheap), the composition is a lovely, delicate one that in a way is blemished by rather dreary bass and drums. Midway through, the piece stops and begins the next section, which consists of two separate piano tracks and a layer of strings. Finally a synthesizer lead descends upon the music, but after what has come before, it seems rather lackluster. The lack of variety, both in sound and instrumentation, not mention the decidedly weak rhythm work, makes for a beautiful yet uninteresting piece, especially for its length.

"Desperate Anger" The track title is quite indicative of the sort of music one can expect to hear on this one. Gritty tones, even on the organ, crunch throughout; that, coupled with an overused bass drum, creates a pseudo-metal atmosphere. More spacious, piano-led music follows, with electronic sounds in the backdrop. The middle section is an especially busy one, as the heavier business resumes. The music of the final minutes casts a baleful mood due to dissonant counterpoint. Occasionally the timing seems off.

"Talion" This piece utilizes electronic tones, most notably what seems to be synthetic violins, cellos, and drums. It is good, but forgettable.

"Progression by Failure" Lonesome piano opens the vast title track. It soon settles into a steady and simple chord progression to lay the foundation for dual synthesizer lead. Whereas much of the previous music was varied in terms of arrangement, this lengthy piece has the artist finding a couple of strong themes, but wearing them out with repetition, only eventually moving onto the next section with a very weak transition or none at all. Largely it consists of several jam sessions strung together- multiple opportunities to shine as a lead musician with nothing else of interest, all book-ended by a pleasant but extremely tedious theme that gets recycled over and again.

Epignosis | 2/5 |

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