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1980 - 1980 CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.94 | 34 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Great Jazz/Metal Fusion, horrible Google search

Sub-genre: Tech/Extreme Prog Metal (would actually fit in Jazz/Rock fusion as well)
For Fans of: Exivious, Panzerballett, Fredrik Thordendal, Coprofago
Vocal Style: None
Guitar Style: Varied, Djent style chuggs to warm jazz tones. No acoustic.
Keyboard Style: Cool array of synthesis that includes screeching patches to match the metal parts and smooth electric piano/vibes for the jazz parts.
Percussion Style: Rock kit played in both extreme metal and jazz styles.
Bass Style: Picked electric with pristine walking bass lines
Other Instruments: None
You are not likely to enjoy this album if: you hate contrast.

Summary: The first time I heard clips of these guys I went on a frantic search around the internet only to find compilations of the music I hate the most: top 40 hits from the 1980's. Thankfully the band now has a for real website ( that helps eliminate the early ambiguity.

This French quartet was well worth the effort. The bands sound was not completely unlike the collaborations between Fredrik Thordendal and Mats/Morgan on both the former's Sol Niger Within and 3 songs on the latter's Trends and Other Diseases. Further polish was put on the style most like Chile's Coprofago, sans cookiemonster vocals. Rather than being a metal band that uses jazz structures, it is a quartet that plays jazz and metal. 1980 pushes from driving metal out of the realm of Allan Holdsworth style fusion that Coprofago was known for, right into nightclub adult contemporary smooth jazz. The beats are frequently groove oriented but never far from syncope. Such contrast would seem to be musical whiplash. But the transitions are unbelievably smooth and natural sounding. The musicians show exquisite proficiency at all the styles they blend, to add to the shocking continuity. Their material is even blended into a closing house/trance mix.

The only drawback to this album is the short playtime (35:31). And that includes a roughly 3 minute silence in the final track. It is good to leave the crowd wanting more, but I REALLY wanted more. The feeling was such that it made the album seem somewhat incomplete.

Final Score: The aforementioned incomplete feel is the only thing keeping 1980 from masterpiece levels with their debut. A fearless approach to stylistic blend and the lack of a screaming vocalist that would turn off many listeners makes this a fine addition to any progressive music collection. Not quite 5 stars, but its within reach.

Tapfret | 4/5 |


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