Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography - Overlook CD (album) cover



Eclectic Prog

3.94 | 115 ratings

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RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
4 stars I don't know why Fromuz are considered JR/F. Their unusual debut, in the sense that a live album as debut is not common, was a bit closer to jazz-rock. This could be a reason. This is the studio debut.

It's immediately clear that Overlook is rock. A rock of a kind not easy to define. The guitar is hard enough to think of progressive metal in the vein of Ayreon, but they are more eclectic. Their music is sometimes symphonic, sometimes folky. Surely there's nothing that can make one think that they are FROM UZbekistan.

The album contains five long tracks for a total of about 70 minutes.

"Stone Salad" has many different moments but there are no discontinuities. In this sense it's symphonic. The guitar solos are good and essential. The keyboard background is loudy and the passages are never trivial. The changes in the signature don't come frequently. The only discontinuity is when the (clean) guitar is left alone after 8:30 minutes and for about four minutes, helped only by bass, little drums and background noises in making jazzy chords. A bit of experimentalism that I really like. It depends on tastes, but it's the part of the song that I prefer and the way used to return to the main team is excellent. Just few guitar chords in the right moment and at the right volume and the listener is back to where it started without understanding how, at least at the first listens. An excellent beginning.

"Other Side Of The Water" starts spacey. A low-pitched keyboard's chord with background noises and percussions. The theme reminds me of Senmuth, even when after about 3 minutes the drummer adds rhythm. Just few minutes and I understand why Fromuz are in the fusion section. After a quick moment of silence we are back to rock. I can't find another band to compare them with. There's something in the bass line that makes me think to Ummagumma, but the guitar sometimes sounds like Trevor Rabin's. Give up to uneasy comparisons or attempts of classifying them, this is prog with no doubts. What comes after minute 10 has effectively something floydian (Animals) before the rock coda closed by piano.

"Crashmind" has a stunning intro with metal suggestions. It initially reminds me (but it's just a concidence) to "Come Corpo Morto Cade", a song from Greenwall present on the first CD of the Dante's Inferno compilation. Heavy instrumental prog, with changes and odd signatures. In the middle it calms down and there's a good guitar number. Just an interlude before returning to the heavy side for a while. A jazzy interlude of bass and drums then rock again. The last minute is melodic but powerful. Just a little touch of Porcupine Tree, then a piano coda.

"13th August" . Here they are like nobody else, at least in the intro. The melodic part which follows has a keyboard background with echoes and reverbs and the vocalisms add a lot to the song. A sudden change and the unusual signature brings us "close to the edge". Not that they have anything to do with YES. If I have to compare them to one of the bigs, I think King Crimson are probably more appropriate. The only defect that I find in this track is its discontinuity. It doesn't flow from one part to the following as the opener. Here the changes come suddenly breaking the continuity. The jazz part with the trumpet is great and unfortunately too short, but what follows is good as wellm but with those sudden changes and returns that characterize the whole track. It's apity because all the single parts taken alone are excellent.

"Return to W.I.T." is the longest track. It's opened by a violin (synthetic?) which plays alone, then harpsichord, bass and bells. There's some flavour of early Genesis for the first 5 minutes, then the colours become darker. Almost psychedelic at minute 6 and some seconds. At Minute 11 starts a bolero tempo. Some seconds and the guitar enters. Also this track is made of many different parts, somewhat disconnected, but FROMUZ took more care to the transitions. This is a track made of many ingredients and reminds to the other tracks of the album. The slow coda is very good, too.

Don't expect fusion, the genre is misleading. It's a very good album containing different styles, maybe eclectic. A very pleasant discovery which can find room in ANY prog collection.


octopus-4 | 4/5 |


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