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FM - Black Noise CD (album) cover




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4.11 | 155 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars It's a shame that this band has not gotten any more attention than it does. FM will always be considered a small ping on the prog sonar and even within the prog related genre is blindsided by the more successful acts (commercially speaking).

There's plenty here for the sci-fi enthusiast, and titles like ''Phasors on Stun'', ''Slaughter in Robot Village'' and ''Dialing for Dharma'' reinforce that. The numerous amounts of synthesizers and the role they take in the music add to the sci-fi mystique. If I could describe the best depiction of FM through this album, think of Tangerine Dream if they were more conventional.

The synths are more welcoming and effective rather than tacky, cheesy and dated. These aren't goony sounding disco synths or those plastic 80's synths; we have synths that create atmospheres and melodies without sounding like a swarm of 8-bit gnats. Lost in all of the synth praising is the character known as Nash the Slash (not the top hat-wearing guitarist) on an eclectic batch of instruments, notably violin.

There are a few textured instrumentals in ''Hours'', ''Dialing for Dharma'' and ''Slaughter in Robot Village'' that are padded with keys and quietly postering violin solos and satisfying basslines (courtesy of keyboardist Hawkins). ''Journey'' and ''Phasors on Stun'' are poppier in spirit but as satisfying as a U.K. tune.

The real treat for the prog rock fan is the title track, and your troubles will be over as soon as Deller starts drumming. It's real menacing in the beginning, but the track only builds on itself from there with the exception of a beautifully calm middle third. Some of the most haunting vocals and sinister keyboards are here, but the bass at the end seals the deal.

Not all prog fans will find BLACK NOISE as being close to prog rock, but the way FM uses their instruments is indeed intriguing and at times spellbinding. One of the better albums in the prog related section of this website.

Sinusoid | 4/5 |


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