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Neograss - The Sea of Tranquility CD (album) cover




Eclectic Prog

2.50 | 9 ratings

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2 stars Neograss from Tromso, Norway started in 2006 as a pure Bluegrass act, led by banjo player/singer Emil Bekkevold and multi-instrumentalist Tore Morten Andreassen.Having also an admiration for 70's Progressive Rock they decided to mix the two styles with the help also of bassist Asmund Wilter Eriksson and drummer Aleksander Kostopoulos.The result of their efforts was the three-part suite ''The Sea of Tranquility'', released in 2010.

Clocking at almost half an hour, this composition goes through different variations, exploring the fundamentals of Bluegrass and the vintage atmosphere of 70's Progressive Rock, but while the description is quite charming, the result is not very conveincing.The opening melody with the smooth rhythm section and the orchestral Mellotron is the best part of ''''The Sea of Tranquility'' and actually this one is repeated a few times until the end.The more Bluegrass-oriented themes though are rather boring.Very calm, almost exclusively played on banjo, and strongly based on Bekkevold's American-styled vocals, these are too long and mellow to overblow the grandiosity of the proggier passages, while the two styles also seem not very tightly connected to each other.The vocals are also an acquired taste and very far from what the prog listener is used to.The ending part ''Recapitulation and Coda'' is possibly the more interesting one.Here the groovy banjo jams of Bekkevold stands nicely next to the sound of Mellotron and flute strings, the opening lovely melody is repeated once again and these minutes never loose their unique mood.

It seems a long way for Neograss to compete with the monsters of modern Progressive Rock, despite their semi-original style.Too many relaxed Bluegrass moments are not the best idea for original but still energetic sound.Maybe a tighter blend like on the closing part should seal the deal...2.5 stars.

apps79 | 2/5 |


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