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Ain Soph - A Story of Mysterious Forest CD (album) cover

A STORY OF MYSTERIOUS FOREST

Ain Soph

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.97 | 72 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Pafnutij
2 stars While the musicianship exhibited by this band is evident, so is their inability to write anything memorable. The rhythm section is rock-solid, the keyboardist is outstanding, particularly with his jazzy piano solos, and the guitarist has impressive shredding abilities (which ironically often make him sound like Al di Meola), yet the band lacks compositional creativity; as a result, this instrumental album sounds like Return To Forever covering bad Camel songs.

The album begins with "Crossfire", a rather wanky technical demonstration, where everyone gets to "shine" ;while this approach usually works in the context of a good composition, it's quite uninspiring as a opener. Next we have a short acoustic guitar interlude titled "Interlude I" , which is pleasant, but nothing spectacular. Following it is "Natural Selection", the first long track: it has neat arrangements and fine jazz soloing on piano and guitar that to an extent do manage to make up for the forgettable melodies and other filler. "Variations on a Theme by Brian Smith" is probably the strongest composition on the album, and while it too suffers from the aforementioned problems and is quite clumsy in places, the masterful piano work and interesting harmonic moves make this a standout number. The title track, however, should've been shortened to about half it's length of18:47 - it starts with a generally nice 3 minute intro, after which a new musical theme is introduced (featuring some Jean-Michael Jarre-influenced synths and a classical interlude that would pop up throughout the track),only to be quickly replaced by a second one consisting of a simple chord progression repeated up until somewhere around the 13 minute mark (most of the time is consumed by a melodic guitar solo), and finally substituted by what has already been heard during the first few minutes; as a result, it's likeable but ultimately boring. Finally, "Interlude II" simply repeats "Interlude I".

Overall, Ain Soph is a promising band that doesn't live up to it's promise - at least on this album.The virtuosic jazz excursions are surely impressive, but sacrificing quality compositional material in their favor doesn't sit too well with me.

Pafnutij | 2/5 |

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