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From.uz - Quartus Artifactus CD (album) cover

QUARTUS ARTIFACTUS

From.uz

 

Eclectic Prog

3.89 | 92 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

J-Man
Prog Reviewer
4 stars In the band's own words, Quartus Artifactus is 'the best of From.uz in a progressive chamber style'. While certainly an interesting concept for a double album/DVD release on its own, the spectacular execution from the band makes this album much more than a cash-in remake of their older material. Quartus Artifactus takes a few listens to 'sink in' due to its massive playing time and overall complexity (especially if you're previously unfamiliar with the band, like I was), but it eventually reveals itself as a fantastic achievement for From.uz. Open-minded fusion and prog rock fans should take a look into getting this stunning observation from Uzbekistan's finest prog outfit!

On their 'normal' albums, From.uz plays a style heavy-edged jazz fusion/prog rock, but the music here is acoustic jazz/prog fusion. Though relentlessly complex and technically demanding, the atmosphere is generally light and upbeat. There are a few ominous sections, but most of the time I'm reminded of acts like Mahavishnu Orchestra, Frank Zappa, or Billy Cobham (around the Spectrum-era). The vast majority of the album is instrumental, but a few vocal sections help add some nice variation into the mix. Most of the songs here are extremely strong and filled with memorable riffs and inventive solos, but it does occasionally drag on a bit longer than necessary. Almost all of the songs here exceed the 9 minute mark, and the 100 minute playing time can make for a difficult listen in one sitting. A song like the 16-minute 'Desert Circle' could have easily been shortened by a few minutes. With that said, From.uz is certainly capable of creating masterful epics, seeing that the near 20-minute 'Parallels' is one of the finest jazz rock epics I've ever heard. Talk about some excellent riffs in that one!

One of the most intriguing parts about Quartus Artifactus is the spectacular musicianship across the board. There isn't a weak link in the whole band, and every member is fun to listen to individually or collectively as part of a full musical experience. Watching these guys play on the DVD included with the album is absolutely breathtaking! The production is also warm, organic, and professional. This is how all jazz/prog fusion should sound!

All in all, Quartus Artifactus is a spectacular double album from From.uz, and surely an essential purchase for those who enjoy acoustic jazz rock. Make no mistake; this is by no means a half-assed remake to capitalize on the success of the band's previous efforts. All fans of the band, as well as newcomers alike, are recommended to get this one as soon as possible. 4 stars are deserved for this great album. 10T Records is becoming one of the most consistent labels in the prog rock scene, and Quartus Artifactus is yet another winner in their catalog!

J-Man | 4/5 |

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