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District 97 - Hybrid Child CD (album) cover

HYBRID CHILD

District 97

 

Crossover Prog

3.49 | 90 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

TheGazzardian
Prog Reviewer
2 stars Although I am giving this album something of a low rating, I still believe that there is a specific subset of people who will really enjoy it.

District97 could easily be described as a pop/prog/metal group and that would get the point across relatively well, yet in no way explain what it is about their music that really makes it appealing. The songs contained herein, especially the first 4, are each high energy songs that follow a more standard song convention. Unlike many prog-pop bands, they don't rely too much on the vocals (even though their vocalist is an American Idol finalist), and let the instruments have a lot of space to take the forefront. I consider this a good thing. The thing is - the instruments aren't really doing anything new for the most part. The guitarist uses a lot of metal riffs, the keys are a bit cheesy - but they are always catchy and upbeat, so even if they're not original, they are enjoyable.

Oh, but there is one aspect of this album that sets these guys apart, and that is Katinka Klejin, a classicaly trained Cellist from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. While adding classical music to rock is nothing new in the prog world, I truly believe that she is the real lifeblood behind the project that makes them worth hearing. Her classical cello playing creates a stark contrast between the more rock/metal/pop oriented music that the rest of the album consists of. There are even parts where I suspect that the scales that the keys and guitars are playing were influenced from her cello playing, because they sound much more classical in nature than the rest of the music. And to top it all off, although I am no cello master, it seems to me that Katinka is quite the gifted cellist. I can only hope her influence in the band grows, for I consider her influence synonymous with the bands quality.

Anyways, the first four songs are pleasant, if they tend to overstay their welcome by a bit (especially the first two tracks). The fifth song, which is split into ten parts, is probably what most prog fans are interested in though. Well, let me tell you, it is by far the best part of the album, not being weighed down by the pop and metal cliches or tiresome lengths of the first few tracks. The longest sections just surpass the three minute mark. It has a lot of good atmosphere, some great catchy moments, and the concept is interesting enough and pulled off pretty well.

TheGazzardian | 2/5 |

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