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Nucleus - Ian Carr with Nucleus: Labyrinth CD (album) cover

IAN CARR WITH NUCLEUS: LABYRINTH

Nucleus

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.61 | 51 ratings

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Bonnek
Special Collaborator
Prog Metal Team
3 stars Nucleus's time in the spotlight quickly faded after the split of the original line-up, but Ian Carr continued to release multiple albums under the band's name (or a variation thereof). 'Labyrinth' is one of those albums and while it may not have the best reputation (and poor album art), it nevertheless contains some strong titles.

Carr parted ways with guitarist Alan Holdsworth and the latter's pointless soloing. As a result, the band returned to their building blocks: groove and melody. After the experimental opener, 'Bull-Dance' brings the best Nucleus has to offer, subtle trumpet melodies, enchanting rhythms, a psychedelic mood and tight functional soloing. The song is accompanied by wordless vocals from Norma Winston. She also takes the leading role on 'Ariadne', a fairly standard jazz-song. The ensuing 'Arena' is an alternate take on 'Bull-Dance' with a looser rhythm and noisier soloing. 'Exultation' sounds very much like the upbeat brass-rock of their earlier album, it has a strong leading melody but the Latin jam fits my taste slightly less. The 12 minute 'Naxos' makes for a strong ending, a circling bass guitar loop inspired the band for a meditative psychedelic jazz rock improvisation in a silent Davis' kind of way.

Not the best but still a good Nucleus album. It's not as vibrant and refreshing as their first two albums but it is easy going and just plain nice.

Bonnek | 3/5 |

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