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FM - Black Noise CD (album) cover




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4.11 | 158 ratings

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4 stars 'Black Noise' remains the album most representative of FM, as it nestles into a comfortable space incorporating lighter, shorter songs ("Phasors On Stun", "Journey") and displays of the epic and cosmic ("One O'Clock Tomorrow", "Aldeberan", "Black Noise"). There's a nice balance between instrumentals (including "Slaughter In Robot Village", which is indeed as good as the title suggests!) and vocal tracks. Nash The Slash's violin work is celestial, a sound that helps take the listener beyond the tedium of daily life. Enhanced by Cameron Hawkins' superb and dominant synth work, this stuff is lush, layered, spacey prog that remains smooth and focused, never moving toward the chaotic (like, say, prime King Crimson or Van Der Graaf Generator). It dwells in a similar sonic sphere as Genesis' 'And Then There Were Three' and Rush around the time of 'Signals' and 'Grace Under Pressure'. In fact, the title track, a wonderful diary of the ups-and-downs of city life, echoes the lyric of Rush's "The Camera Eye". I'm not suggesting Rush used the 'Black Noise' title track as inspiration for "The Camera Eye", I'm just pointing it out considering the parallels between the two bands: both Canadian, both trios, both prog...even Nash The Slash's successor Ben Mink played on Rush's "Losing It".

Always exciting, full of life and activity, 'Black Noise' is a highly enjoyable album that twists symphonic, jazz-rock and artrock traits together into one of the best prog albums of the late '70s.

slipperman | 4/5 |


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