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Asia Minor - Crossing The Line  CD (album) cover

CROSSING THE LINE

Asia Minor

 

Symphonic Prog

3.53 | 78 ratings

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stefro
Prog Reviewer
3 stars You have to feel for Asia minor. Active during arguably the lowest point of progressive rock's forty-five year history, this was a group who produced fine, melodic and highly-intelligent music at a time when nobody cared for such things. As a result, the history of this multi-national outfit proved to be unsurprisingly brief. Formed in Paris sometime during the late 1970s, Asia Minor featured members plucked from France, Turkey and Britain. Unable, due to their achingly unfashionable style of music, to seal any kind of record deal the four-strong group took the bold step of self-financing and self-producing both this 1979 debut release and 1981's highly-praised follow-up 'Between Flesh & Divine', a move which gave the musicians genuine artistic freedom but also fundamentally limited the record's potential commercial reach due to the lack of any kind of distribution deal. And despite the positive critical reception garnered both both albums - in particular 'Between Fleszh & Divine' - Asia Minor's career was over barely three-and-a-half years after it had begun. Obviously, one truly wonders what might have happened if the group had been around during either the genre's early peak or it's 21st century rebirth, yet thankfully they haven't been forgotten. Both albums have been reissued by the French Musea imprint, thus the group have enjoyed a well-deserved second life in the CD age. Recorded during 1979, 'Crossing The Line' is a less polished affair compared to it's well-respected follow-up, yet despite slightly muddy production values the graceful melodies still shine through. Very much a formative piece which allowed Asia Minor to hone their craft in preparation for 'Between Flesh & Divine', 'Crossing The Line' features nine carefully-composed tracks that mix a distinctly arty European sensibility with British-style symphonic flourishes, the group cleverly utilising synthesizers, acoustic-and-electric guitars and founding member Setrak Bekiral's un-flashy vocals in a crisp and clear manner that for the most deliberately eschew excessive musicianship. Highlights include opening piece 'Prelude', which opens the album on a suitably grand note, the throbbing bass thumps of the short-and-sweet 'Mystic Dance' and finally, the lushly mysterious mini- epic 'Vision'. STEFAN TURNER, STOKE NEWINGTON, 2012
stefro | 3/5 |

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