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Bolus - Triangulate CD (album) cover





3.53 | 40 ratings

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2 stars When Porcupine Tree found a much larger audience due to their signing with Lava records (a subsidiary of Atlantic) one of the consequences seemed to be a lot of younger musicians starting bands influenced by them. The new found fame of Porcupine Tree was good in the sense that it meant prog could finally reach a larger audience (the band The Mars Volta was at least partially responsible for this also) but it also meant that the alternative influences could be more prominent than the prog influences. Since Porcupine Tree had already added an alternative element in their music it meant that some of these bands just wound up sounding not very original in their approach.

The Canadian band Bolus is in my view one of these bands who would either not exist at all or sound very different if it wasn't for Porcupine Tree. Although they do sound at times very much like a less heavy version of later Porcupine Tree that's not to say that Bolus don't have any original bones in their body. However, it's quite obvious (to me at least) who the musical template for their music is. Specifically much of this could be outtakes from In Absentia minus the metal elements of that classic album. While there is some acoustic guitar on that PT album there is much more on this one but it's mostly of the strummy variety and is more or less just part of the background. Also, this album is more similar to modern alternative than "traditonal" progressive rock. There really isn't much on here that would make me want to categorize this as a progressive rock album or even an art rock album. That by itself of course doesn't make it weak but the music itself just doesn't do much for me regardless of genre. That being said the opening track "forward facing" which features a rather jangly guitar riff is quite good and a few other tracks are decent enough but over all this release is far from top notch.

Also, it's worth mentioning that the lead singer, at least to me, sounds a bit like David Pack from Ambrosia. That's interesting because it's very likely no members in this band were even alive when Ambrosia were at their peak. It's also quite possible that the band members have no clue who Ambrosia are. It doesn't matter much though because other than the vocalist this band sound nothing like them.

While there are some good moments on this album (which apparently is their last), few stand out and the ones that do are few and far between. A few good moments is not enough to make an album stand up to repeated listenings let alone be something that one could say is an important part of their collection. Also, there are very few (if any) truly memorable songs on this album. If a band is going to focus on songs and songwriting like Bolus seem to do then they should at least have melodies that keep the listener engaged. I don't feel that is the case here. I contemplated giving this release three stars but in the end I decided to go for two stars. Maybe 2.5 would be more accurate. If you are into the more alternative and modern rock side of prog then this might be your thing but there are better bands in that category in my opinion.

AFlowerKingCrimson | 2/5 |


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