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Relocator - Relocator CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

3.84 | 63 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Impressive Jazz-Rock Fusion - Prog Met album

Looking at the line-up as well as the first spin of the CD I got this in my mind: a combination of music from Chick Corea Electric Band, Jean Luc Ponty, Didier Lockwood, Eddie Jobson (and of course not Stephan Grapheli who plays really mainstream jazz music), Liquid Tension Experiments, Gordian Knot, Planet X, Alan Holdsworth and the like. Well, this album does not sound quite metal as Liquid Tension Experiments (for example). Got an idea already about their music? If you have LTE second album, try spin the opening track "Acid Rain" which gives you the sense of progressive "metal" at opening part of the song. The music of Relocator is not the one similar with that but it sounds to me that they mix the music in a balanced way that does not give an impression that certain instrument dominates another in particular segemants. It really impressed me the first time I played it because the music sounded solid, composition-wise, energetic style and having an excellent mixing and production - the sonic quality of the CD is excellent. The CD package is actually simple but it contains nice paintings and photographs by professional artists. So, basically I was impressed at first sight and spin of the CD from this German based quartet who call themselves RELOCATOR as a project rather than a band with Derek Sherinian as guest player in keyboard department. Having listened to the album more than eight spins in its entirety in every spin< I am convinced this project has a very bright future in progressive music scene.

Mixed in a balanced way

As I mentioned above, their music does not seem to demonstrate certain instrument(s) as main soloist that dominates the music, and it is very clearly demonstrated with the mixing and production of the album. The first minute of the opening track "Red Vibes" (6:15) does not give me any clue on who actually takes the melody of the music. All what I hear is a combined work of drums, keyboard fills, solid basslines and guitar that bring the music along. Only than Derek gives his keyboard fills to bring the music into a break where the acoustic guitar takes part combined with solid basslines. The violin then takes its solo followed with keyboard fills and guitar solo that is mixed quite thinly. The keyboard solo performed by Derek is also nice and it enriches the composition.

"Biosphere" (8:02) starts off with a punch of keyboard work that reminds me to the opening of Van Halen's "Jump" that was popular in rock scene in the eighties. The music moves in different way from the opening track and it gives me variation on the style of the music. It's probably close to what Chick Corea Electric Band kind of music. There is a musical riff that reminds me to the kind of Sean Malone (Gordian Knot) or John Myung (Dream Theater) type of work in progressive metal scene. WOW! I love this part as it combines jazz-rock fusion with progressive metal style. It's probably I have a bit of metal cells in my blood (I am a fan of American Kamelot). It also reminds me to a band called as Aghora who played jazz-rock meets progmet. This tune combines segments with dynamic tempo as well as the slower one where the bass guitar plays its dynamic work followed with electric guitar solo at approx minute 6 of this second track.

The album title track "Relocator" (5:26) is composed differently where the guitar part takes its role as melody maker after nice opening with bass guitar takes obvious work. This time guitar takes longer solo in stunning way combined with jazz-rock fusion type of music. Through this track I can see the good chemistry of its founding members - Stefan Artwin (guitars, programming) and Michael Pruchnicki (bass) in music making. I am sure this project has a very bright future in progressive music scene - with or without Derek. They may find permanent keyboard player if they want.

"Proxima" (6:18) brings back to the style of music of the opening track Red Vibes. But this time the progressive metal style is quite obvious right after the intro part. Guitar takes its role as melody maker backed with layered of keyboard work by Derek. As usual, Michael's work at bass guitar work is still obvious. I like the keyboard work that plays at background at approx minute 2:50, combined with soft progressive metal riffs.

"Aavishkar" (10:32) serves as a wonderful refreshment to me as it starts wonderfully with guitar (sitar?) work that reminds me to the music from the East. This time violin takes back into the music after it's absent from previous three tracks. The music flows excellently in jazz-rock - progmet style with dynamic guitar as well as keyboard - backed with good drumming and dynamic basslines. The Eastern guitar / sitar work during interlude that starts at approx min 3:45 is really wonderful. It features also percussion, violin and solid basslines. I really love this segment as well as the overall composition of this tune. In fact, I should recommend you to play this track first at the beginning of the spin and you will find an amazing piece of music composition! I bet you like it. It's a masterpiece composition, really! Bravo Relocator!

"13 Reasons" (6:33) starts off with an ambient keyboard work followed with a musical riffs that features Derek keyboard fills. The tune demonstrates a combination of intertwined work of guitar and keyboard with guitar takes the main role even though keyboard plays its part significantly especially as filler at background. The music also changes its style at the later segments where it turns into a mellow part with keyboard plays some effects combined with guitar riffs mixed thinly (it sounds like in background only). It reminds me to Tomy Bolin and Billy Cobham work in "Stratus" from Billy Cobham album "Spectrum".

The last two tracks would make you awake!

What impresses me more with the work of these genius musicians under the name of Relocator is the last two track "Urban Blue" and "The Alchemist" that both sound wonderful to me. I think the band design it this way that makes the album not boring, they put two energetic style music at the later part of the album. Excellent!

"Urban Blue" (6:35) is really attractive since the first part of the music as it has successfully motivated the listeners with the excellent vibe the music created through a wonderful combination of rhythm section, musical riffs and solo work - especially guitar work. This time you can enjoy the beauty of jazz-rock fusion music that demonstrates great guitar solo that is played stunningly and brings the music in a progressive metal riffs followed with a break. The keyboard plays its fills nicely as well. Well, I love this composition, really. It has rich textures, frequent style changes and great solo works. I can guarantee those of you who love jazz rock fusion will highly appreciate this seventh track.

The concluding track "The Alchemist" (11:32) is different. It starts with an ambient solid bass guitar lines that accompany the keyboard fills as well as acoustic guitar fills ? with no drumming for approximately first minute of the track. What follows is a nice violin solo combined with keyboard fills and dynamic basslines. WOW man! I love it! I tend to play loud this track because I really enjoy the solid basslines that feature intertwined work of guitar, violin and keyboard. It's a very captivating composition, I think. I believe if you are really a progressive music freak, I bet you love this track in its ebtirety. I don't get bored listening to this track in its entirety as it has many style changes. Look at the violin solo at approximately minute 5 - I like it very much! It's a masterpiece composition.


As I have talked a lot in quite detail when I reviewed on track by track basis, I don't think I need to talk more to conclude. It's definitely an excellent album that you should NOT miss if you call yourself a progressive music lover. If you cannot appreciate this kind of music, I doubt that that you are really a proghead ? so sorry my friend. This album is a definitely a four star PLUS rating (9 out of 10). You must get the CD! Keep on proggin' ...!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Gatot | 4/5 |


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