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Peter Matuchniak - Uncover Me CD (album) cover

UNCOVER ME

Peter Matuchniak

 

Prog Related

3.49 | 6 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Ivan_Melgar_M
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Prog Specialist
4 stars Pleasant Surprise

One of the hardest situations I have to face as a reviewer, is when a friend sends me his new album, because if I rate it too high it may seem as favoritism, but if I'm more exigent than usual, I may be unfair with a musician just because he's my friend. So after adding PETER MATUCHNIAK'S album to Prog Related, decided to wait a bit and write the review of Uncover Me only after listening the album repeatedly and trying to keep away the friendship that relates us for a couple years.

Since then I had the chance to review the excellent album of his new band GEKKO PROJECT and was not disappointed, but this time Peter send me his solo release in which he plays a lighter form of Prog with members of his two bands, a new drummer (Jimmy Keegan) plus two vocalists (the fantastic Natalie Azerad and the sober Ted Zahn).

Uncover Me is opened by Falling Ash (Landscape Burning Pt 1) and it's powerful keyboard lead intro that soon turns into some sort of PINK FLOYD inspired track, where Natalie sings in the vein of Claire Torry while Ted Zahn adds his voice almost as Roger Waters would had done.

Very trippy musical piece with excellent performances and even narration, acoustic guitar and atmospheric keys, plus the chance listen Peter playing his guitar with a style reminiscent of David Gilmour, something astonishing for those of us who are used to his more aggressive approach.

Running Blind begins as a continuation of the previous song but this time the music morphs into a melancholic track with a heartbreaking performance by Natalie and a band that is giving their best with explosive guitar passages that sound more like Peter Matuchniak on EVOLVE IV. The jazzy bass by Jim DeBaun creates a delightful contrast with the heavier performance of the group.

Uncover Me caught me by surprise because I would never expect a folksy medieval tune by this guys, but they took the risk with an acoustic guitar enhancing the beautiful vocal work, almost an interlude before the energetic Down In New Orleans, a bluesy ballad with Ted Zahn singing with a country edge, and again PETER MATUCHNIAK offering an excellent performance boosted with the dramatic sax by Conor Jonson, until now, I like what I hear.

Even when more mainstream oriented, Running Back to You is a very interesting song, a nice combination between Rock guitar and Jazzy vocals. Please pay special attention to the outstanding drumming by Jimmy Keegan.

London Vibe is another jazz oriented track with a fantastic sax and frantic keyboards that creates a pleasant contrast with the soft and "troubadouresque" Lionheart Betrayed where Ted Zahn offers a delightful performance enhanced by NatalieĀ“s sweet choirs and a pastoral flute, really beautiful.

Sandcastles is a short and delicate 53 seconds interlude that prepares the listener for the eclectic Across the Pond in which Peter wanders through the limits between "Blues based Rock" and Jazz, not my favorite piece (too soft and a bit in the vein of Herp Albert), but still good especially because the excellent keyboards.

Now it's time for the "piece of resistance", the extremely elaborate and absolutely eclectic Rising Sun that offers everything a Prog fan loves, starting with radical changes that take us from Folk to Jazz just to end in a very complex Prog section with reminiscences of KING CRIMSON. It's also interesting to notice that the song goes "in crescendo" from melodic and soft to frenetic and vibrant, really outstanding musical piece.

The album ends with Hippy in the Rain an acoustic ballad with THE BEATLES and BOB DYLAN influence that captures the spirit of the late 60's and somehow reminds me of singer songwriters as DONOVAN and CAT STEVENS with a touch of San Francisco Psychedelic scenario.

If Uncover Me had been added to a full Prog sub-genre as Crossover or Eclectic, I would had been forced to rate it with no more than 3 stars, because it would be evidently out of place, but being that the Administrators decided to include it in Prog Related, I have more freedom to go with four stars, because this album is a great addition for any musical collection, of course if we are able to appreciate the beautiful blend of Prog and mainstream genres that the band offers us.

Ivan_Melgar_M | 4/5 |

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