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Automatic Fine Tuning - A.F.T. CD (album) cover

A.F.T.

Automatic Fine Tuning

 

Heavy Prog

3.69 | 24 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Dr. Judkins
3 stars Make no mistake about it, people. This is pretty much the definition of a guitar-oriented album. If you're the sort of person who dismisses Steve Vai or Al Di Meola and their ilk on the basis that they utilize too much technicality and not enough "soul", then you'll probably not like this album very much. To anyone else, it's a very good and rather impressive piece of early neo-classical rock music.

Definitely for fans of the electric guitar, there's similarly not much here in the way of expansive sound, remaining strictly a four-piece instrumental experience throughout the album, save for the poppier closing track Queen Of The Night. Despite this, those more accustomed to a wider range of tones and timbres, myself included, can find a lot to enjoy here. The interplay between the two guitars is top notch, alternating between a wide range of harmonies, rhythmic juxtapositions, tonal changes and shifts in key and tempo. The bass guitar subtly accentuates this and helps to move the pieces along without letting the music grow stale on one riff or progression for too long.

There's a wide range of emotions explored. At times there are soaring leads and drums pounding heavily, at times things are soft and subtle, nearly lacking the rhythm section entirely, at times there are extensive buildups, and at times there are even slightly avant- style riffs, particularly in later parts of The Great Panjandrum Wheel Pt. Two.

The first three tracks are entirely a neo-classical jam with skilled guitarists flexing over top of a sturdy rhythm section. The fourth and final track, Queen Of The Night, is much different than these, undoubtedly recorded in the hopes of being released as a single to try to garner a little popularity for the band. While it's not entirely progressive and nothing like the other material on the album, it's a very nice little tune, with a catchy but original chorus and some more rock-oriented twin-guitar leads throughout. It does show the versatility of these guitarists, and it's a shame this group never released more albums, as I'm sure their sound could have grown extensively with more studio time and perhaps some better producing and higher budget.

The album is nothing revolutionary in and of itself, but at the time I'm sure it was quite the eye-opener to anyone brave enough to gamble on a copy of it. It's fun and exhibits some talented guitar play. I'd recommend it to anyone who's looking for a nice old diamond-in-the- rough to add to their discoveries.

Dr. Judkins | 3/5 |

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