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Disconnect - Indivision CD (album) cover

INDIVISION

Disconnect

Crossover Prog


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3 stars This is indie? This album is very well written as can be told within the first two tracks. Good Intentions (Part I) explores the worlds of Neal Morse as it slowly transitions into Crimson territory. As we travel into (Part II) we get another dose of Morse. This man seems to have harnessed the power of the Morse family. His musicianship is solid. The drums sound raw despite being perfectly clear. I'm listening to the streaming MP3's so maybe the lossy quality is what sounds raw. Cincture starts to get the blood pumping.

I listened to Cincture twice before resuming with the music. Despite finding the vocals a bit annoying the music is well performed. He's got some tasty licks on his guit-fiddle. Oh wait! Did I just hear some real fiddles in the background? I'm not sure, again due to the lossy quality of MP3s, if some of the instrumentation is synth or real. Is that a real sax? Either way this song is sick. Then we charter to the unusually happy sounding Perpetual Decay.

Perpetual Decay is a smooth track. Some odd things going on with the time. Well handled. Three measures of five then a measure of three into four measures of four. With some ocasional randomness. Oh. It is synth. Some tribalness holding onto that five. Not too big on the vocals but he can sing in key. He is creative with the vocal track. Distorting his vox and bouncing them between the left and right tracks. Then they bring the metal.

Creeping Fade starts with some animosity. Then drops into Nealdom. . . . . . . . . . . . Some more Crimson Tribal. Sick guitar solo around the five minute mark. Again very tasty. Not in your face mindless noodling like we do on the edge of our beds when we're bored. The drummer shines with maximum grooveness after the guitar solo. Then we go back down the crimson corridor as we transition into the next track.

All fall Down....... (skips to the 2:45 mark after a couple of seconds then skips to the next song)

Rapture beings with some soul searching maybe wondering why the last track was made. Maybe wondering how many chocolates I just ate. Did I eat too many? Should I listen to new music every time I eat chocolates? Everything is surrounding me. I'm mesmerized. The sound of water is soothing as we venture on.

Two Stones is chill. Continuing with the soothing vibes the vocals become less annoying and more fitting. Almost. A little more soul searching however with a sexy rhythm to lead us this time. Around the six minute mark we begin our journey into manhood. Full tribal vibes. I'm glad I ate those chocolates before I started listening.

BOOOM! Then we are hit with some intensity as we are starting our decent into the void. I'm starting to really appreciate these two guys as musicians. Singularity is a sick track. I'm not fully opposed to the vocals yet..... But I must say instrumentals are definitely their strong point. Listened to it three times before moving on.

Times Abyss (skip to the four minute mark)

Closing the Book begins with a good steady rock rhythm. The vocals are really annoying me now. Please stop singing because I really enjoy the music. There's something faintly Nick Cave/Dirty Three-ish about this track. However the instruments aren't particularly mixed well. The keys are too loud and the guitar is too low. Sounds muffled.

Finale begins with some heaviness. However the guitar isn't as tasty this time around until the crimson section around 1:30. Track starts getting sick at this point then they jump into some cock rockin into a groove. Drums are strong on this track. Ends with a synth note releasing us from the void.

This album jumps around a lot. A lot of genres are touched. I can definitely see the prog edge. The influences of Neal Morse and King Crimson are obvious. However I don't find this album particularly progressive. Just as they would get to the brink of chartering new territory they would do a 180 right back into the safe chartered territory. Some of the tracks were mixed hastily. The musicianship is strong and I would like to see an album with more musicians on it. Most particularly a strong keyboard player and a new singer. This album isn't easily forgetable but I probably won't listen to it again for a while. Two and a half stars rounded up for some good guitar and drum work.

Report this review (#453987)
Posted Monday, May 30, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars I've enjoyed this band's prior work quite a bit and only found out about this new album from a friend who has a copy of it. This same friend turned me on to Disconnect originally, so I was pleased to see another release from these guys. I found Disconnect's earlier releases to get successively better with each new record and 'Indivision' continues that trend. I've listened to it in its entirety twice now and is definitely a concept album as the songs are all connected, making it one big long epic.

So here's my song-by-song breakdown...

PRELUDE: very Rush-influenced here, reminds me of Hemispheres in both spirit and tone. it's a brief introduction to the main part of the album and features some interesting synchronized drum/guitar sections. It's not an overly long track although I caught myself wishing it were a little longer.

GOOD INTENTIONS PART 1: in contrast to the upbeat 'Prelude', this song is more of an emotional piece which builds slowly. The vocals are quite reminiscent of Spock's Beard (Morse era). As someone who has heard the band's other work, I'm hearing some instruments on this album that I haven't heard before. On this track we get some saxophone, cello and other strings (I'm assuming its a keyboard tone and not actual strings, but works very well). Musically this track reminds me a lot of the last couple of Waters-era Pink Floyd albums, especially The Final Cut. Next we get a very King Crimson-sounding section. Really liking the bass in this part. The song ends on a funky rhythm that moves seamlessly into the next song, which is...

GOOD INTENTIONS PART 2: a very different vibe than Part 1, this one is much more upbeat and almost funky (in an 80s sort of way). The lyrics are very poignant here and gives one the feeling you are listening in on a confessional phone conversation. Really nice and tasteful guitar solo on the end. This song is a good 'jumping off point' for anyone who is new to Disconnect. Very accessible track.

CINCTURE: starts off with a bang then returns to a bit of a funkier section for the verses. Nice bluesy guitar as part of the intro, fits nicely here. The band changes up the beat in the 2nd verse which allows the song to grow before moving on to a really nice saxophone solo (again, presuming it's a synth tone, but sounds amazing). Following this are some odd time sections with some truly abstract guitar. O'Dell has a quite a range in style on guitar, he goes from a bluesy style early on to a more Fripp sorty of approach within the same song.

PERPETUAL DECAY: Possibly my favorite song on the album featuring lots of changeups & turnarounds. Interesting acoustic riff starts us off with some melodic guitar leads...a brief but beautiful cello solo takes us into the next section, which is much darker & heavier. Another new element to their music I've noticed is the use of synchronized sections of multiple instruments. This is something more native to symphonic prog, but it's nice to see these guys stretching their musical legs into new areas.

CREEPING FADE: Definitely the heaviest and most 'metal' song on the album. I'm very picky about metal (not my favorite genre) but they pull off a nice one here. The middle section features vocals that sound (to me) a bit like Peter Gabriel or maybe even Fish (Marillion). The middle section is a stark contract to the heavy sections, but is not jarring by any means. The parts work great together. Another abstract guitar lead here along the lines of Fripp, Belew, etc.

ALL FALL DOWN: one of the more melodic tunes on the album, starting with a simple descending chord progression. I have to say I do like the band's usage of piano throughout this album. while it is obvious O'Dell is no virtuoso on piano/keyboards, he does have a knack for using it tastefully enough to perfectly complement their songs. Again we see the band changing chords and beats around during different verses. This is something I don't recall them doing on their prior work - I like this sort of movement within a song. It is not the strongest track on the album, but it is one that I think may grow on me.

RAPTURE: an instrumental interlude linking songs together, very mellow and spacey. There is a really nice distorted horn part on here that I like. Another sound I've not heard from this band before.

TWO STONES: Probably my other favorite song from the album along with 'Perpetual Decay'. This has a very Porcupine Tree sort of feel with some Pink Floyd thrown in for good measure. This is a powerful track with some rather odd chord movement in the middle section, which also features some tasteful acoustic guitar. A really, really nice brief guitar lead takes you out of the middle section. The tone of this solo reminds me a lot of Steve Hackett. The outro of the song features some simple percussion and keyboards which builds up at the end, leading right into...

SINGULARITY: Very cool and complex instrumental track. Some really bizarre meters and riffs at work here. This moves into a solo section which shows the band's King Crimson's leanings once again. Sadly this songs is about 3 minutes too short, I wanted more...

TIME'S ABYSS: This is an upbeat track that reminds me a little of the Flower Kings as well as Van der Graaf Generator to some degree (moreso Flower Kings though). One thing I really enjoy about this track are the synchronized drum/guitar/piano/string parts, again showing Disconnect is moving into symphonic territories previously unexplored with their prior work. The song ends with a reprise of the main riff we heard in 'Perpetual Decay' (which works for me as that is my favorite track from the album). The outro guitar solo shows us once again that O'Dell is a master of multiple guitar styles as he returns again to a jazzy/melodic style, contrasting some of the more abstract approaches we hear elsewhere on the album.

CLOSING THE BOOK: Lyrically this may be the best song on the album. The song has a really nice groove and features a really cool vintage organ tone (Rhodes?). The chorus sections remind me of Spock's Beard a little bit. The middle section features an extended piano/string part which allows the song to feel a bit more uplifting than it would have been otherwise. Coming out of this section is a brief guitar lead that may be the best on the album. From a technical standpoint it may not be the most complex solo on the album, but there is something about the way this particular solo feels - it just adds some emotional depth to the song overall.

FINALE: Another instrumental that closes out the album. You can hear the Rush influences again as well as a heavy recall of their King Crimson influence with some interlaced rhythm guitars, each playing a slightly different meter. A perfect way to end the album.

The band's technical prowess and songwriting continues to get better all the time. Their usage of new instruments & sounds is a very encouraging sign that this is a band that wants to keep moving forward and not dwell on rehashing the same sounds and approaches over and over. I'm also hearing stronger vocal efforts from O'Dell on this album. From reviews of their other work, I've seen that his vocals have been a sticking point for some listeners. While I certainly understand why some may not be fond of his style, the same can be said for a lot of other prog vocalists. How many times have we Rush fans had to hear people complain about Geedy Lee's voice? : ) While O'Dell is certainly no Geddy , he turns in a solid vocal performance throughout this album.

I have to keep reminding myself that this is the work of only two guys.

As I mentioned in spots of my review, O'Dell's guitar work is very impressive not only from a technical standpoint but his ability to seamlessly change styles is rare. On one song his guitar leads may sound like Mark Knopfler....on the next song his solo may sound like Reeves Gabrels or Robert Fripp - then on the next song he is channeling David Gilmour. His bass work has evolved nicely as well (he could call himself a bass player if he wanted and he'd get no argument from me!). He's also competent on keyboards and compliments the songs well in that regard too.

Eschrich's drum work is, as always, outstanding and is what drives this music for me. While it is obvious he has insane chops on drums, he also has an amazing sense of restraint when the song demands it. The Peart influence is obvious but you can also hear a bit of Bruford and Portnoy here and there as well - yet Eschrich's usage of some rather unusual percussion sounds gives him a voice all his own.

I've watched (and heard) this band evolve across all their albums and Indivision is by far their strongest work to date. Disconnect is that rare group that defies categorization. They touch on so many different subgenres of prog that it's hard to put a finger on 'what' they really are. As they seem to be evolving with respect to their sound, it's hard to imagine what will come next. I know these guys are an independent group and everything they put out is completely self-produced and self-promoted. Some of the best new prog I've heard in the past couple years have been from bands like Disconnect who are out there doing their own thing and making great music. Indivision is an album that can speak to fans of crossover prog, symphonic prog, heavy prog and even at times progressive metal.

Report this review (#455236)
Posted Tuesday, May 31, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars I'm a big fan of Disconnect's Obcsuros, and was looking forward to seeing the direction they took. This one took me a bit longer to sink in than Obscuros, but the reward is much greater. Being a big Rush fan, I loved the opening Prelude right off the bat....the latter day 70's Rush influence is unmistakable, and I'm guessing intentional. Good Intentions, a slow building song follows, into what I would agree with other comments is a very King Crimsonish sound....wish this part went on a bit longer. Good Intentions 2 is probably one of the more accessible songs on the album, as proven by my wife's love for the song. Don't confuse that with boring or mundane, it is actually one of my favorites on the album, and probably Disconnect's best song of similar structure on any of their albums.

Cincture has a great intro, and and took an odd turn. I usually love that kind of stuff, but still haven't fully embraced where this one headed until the great ending. The opposite of Cincture, I'm not a huge fan of the intro to Perpetual Decay, but it evolves into one of the finer tracks on the album and is a great lead in to probably Disconnect's finest moment, Creeping Fade. I'm a big fan of moments of crunch and heaviness ala Porcupine Tree, and this song delivers that wonderfully, not to mention a great solo. This is probably the most progressive song they've done, and I hope this style is incorporated more into their sound on future efforts.

All Fall Down is probably my least favorite track on the album, but still a good song. I probably unfairly judge it based on the song it is coming out of. When the MP3 player is on mix, I really quite enjoy it. The song does have a great melody. Rapture is brief spacey interlude. I love these style of tracks when listening to an entire album...but on shuffle they don't work so well...this one is no exception. I think this kind of track, even the this exact one could have worked great coming out of Creeping Fade, and linking All Fall Down.

Two Stones is a mellow track, with some great acoustic work, along with one of my favorite Disconnect choruses. One of the finer parts of the album, and it leads into probably my second favorite track, Singularity. I love that Disconnect has increased the instrumental passages on this album, and they have proven to be very adept at writing them. I love the guitar tone in this track, but man, this song needs to be longer.

Time's Abyss is kind of a return to a more normal song structure, almost Radio Hostilish, with the exception of a very cool interlude linking the first and second half. I'm a big fan of recurring themes, and here we have them reprising the Perpetual Decay intro to close the song...while not my favorite part of the album, I love to see them taking this route. Closing the Book is solid ending leading into The Finale, the final (of course) instrumental on the album. Again, as with Prelude, the Rush influence is front and center. You couldn't ask for a better ending to the album.

Disconnect has shown a lot of growth since Fragments, and they just seem to keep improving over previous efforts. Truly the most progressive of their efforts, and I hope it's a direction they explore more, and expand upon with later releases. It was great to hear the additional instruments/sounds throughout the album, and that is another attribute I would like to see continue. Overall, a VERY solid effort. Can't wait for the next release...but this one will tide me over for a long time.

Report this review (#457886)
Posted Tuesday, June 7, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars I recently received a copy of Disconnect's 3rd album "Indivision" and was completely unprepared for what I was about to experience. I am a huge fan of their debut album (Radio Hostile) and loved the concept album approach they took with that recording. With 'Indivision' they have returned to their concept album roots.

The songs flow together perfectly and I can hear many instances where the band is expanding their usage of sounds, tones and instrumentation. Their songwriting has evolved into a very mature and seasoned approach to music.

It's hard to pin down highlights because there are so many, but 'Good Intentions Part 2' is probably the most accessible song the band has ever recorded. 'Perpetual Decay' is another standout and is a good example of how this band can include so many different turnarounds in one song and yet keep it together. I really like 'All Fall Down', the chorus and bridge sections are simply beautiful. 'Time's Abyss' is a fun ride from beginning to end. The 'Prelude' and 'Finale' tracks are a throwback to the early days of Rush (2112 and Hemispheres era).

Disconnect's musicianship and songwriting are among the best I've heard from independent bands recently. They've really put it all together on this album and across the board this is a great release. It's hard to believe their albums are the product of only two people. I hope they continue to stick with the concept album formula, because they've gotten it down to a science.

Report this review (#459082)
Posted Saturday, June 11, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars I first heard about this album when it was recently featured on Aural Moon. WOW! from the opening instrumental of this release, this band grabs you by the short hairs and coaxes you to want MORE. On all levels, Disconnect is not disconnected at all but very well versed in making music that takes the listener on a stroll through emotions. I can feel anger, lust, sorrow, twisted perversions and curiosities and love. Not only does the music portray emotions, but the lyrics add depth and dimension to it all. I can hear obvious influences of Disconnect: King Crimson, Transatlantic, Porcupine Tree, Rush, Kevin Gilbert, Genesis -- and what is not to desire from these troubadours? I am definitely going to check out the previous releases from this band.
Report this review (#464958)
Posted Sunday, June 19, 2011 | Review Permalink
Conor Fynes
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars 'Indivision' - Disconnect (7/10)

Disconnect is a two man partnership, dedicated to making a brand of conceptually-oriented melodic prog rock. This is their third album, although it is my first experience with the band. In the modern scene of prog rock, there seems to be a trend of taking prog sounds and integrating them into a more accessible pop format. With the likes of Porcupine Tree, Kaipa and Mars Hollow among the bands that have been doing this, Disconnect is doing their own thing with it, keeping their songwriting rather accessible, yet piecing the songs together to make cohesive album length suites of music. 'Indivision' shows this duo really getting the craft of albums down, and brought down only by some issues with the execution and performance, Disconnect has made a deep and engrossing listen with 'Indivision'.

Disconnect- like many of their prog rock contemporaries- weave their influences quite proudly into their sound, and on 'Indivision', the sounds of other bands can readily be heard in various sections. The 'Prelude' of the record instantly speaks of Rush, particularly the riffs on their 'Hemispheres' suite. The vocals here often remind me of a few different prog rock vocalists, most notably being Neal Morse. The guitar solos sometimes sound like they could have been taken from a David Gilmour b-side. The album's highlight 'Closing The Book' even speaks to me greatly of David Bowie. This highly identifiable list of influences suggests that Disconnect does not have much of a unique sound to them in the prog community, but their sharp songwriting skills make 'Indivision' a trip well worth taking.

'Indivision's writing took a few listens to appreciate fully; while Disconnect do root themselves in a more accessible style of prog, the way the album is structured can make for an unexpectedly challenging listen at first. The charming and nostalgic ideas introduced in 'Prelude' are used later on in the record, and the catchy songs throughout the album- while not all too complex in themselves- are intelligently written and take some time to map out the progressions in a listener's head. All in all, 'Indivision' is a very well put together suite that features some great tracks, especially towards the end of it.

Upon my first listen of 'Indivision', I actually noticed that I was focusing on the flaws of the record, moreso than the merits of the music. Granted, there are some fairly noticeable faults in the music, and this is what takes an otherwise excellent album and holds it back. Among the faults are some fake instruments; there is a violin sound that pops up in a few tracks that is clearly a keyboard, and while it is granted that bands do not always have the resources necessarily to fulfill their vision, it does admittedly take away from the feeling of the music. As well, the vocals here can be a bit shaky at times, especially with the harmonies, although Erich O'Dell is otherwise a fairly good singer. The production and execution does have something of an amateurish feel to it, although things sound clear enough to enjoy the music. After a few listens were done though, the flaws started to swell down, and it became easier to concentrate on the things that Disconnect do well here; being songwriting and pleasant musicianship.

Disconnect do certainly have the potential to do even better, although there is greatness already here with 'Indivision'. A poppish album that surprisingly grows with every listen, this is an intriguing release, and I am glad I decided to give this pair the time to listen, because the music here is quite strong.

Report this review (#473291)
Posted Thursday, June 30, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars Once again, another great album by the super duo! Succeeding Obscuros, this album takes you through a journey of emotions. Unlike the previous albums, there's much more experimenting with the various keyboard samples (It definitely adds the finishing touches.) These guys truely know all the ingredients to creating a successful album and it blows me away everytime I realize the drummer and vocalist/guitarist are in two different states making these albums!

It's a given that one should pick this album up, but consider their other albums released as well...Radio Hostile and Obscuros!

Good job guys! I can't wait for the next album!

Report this review (#475724)
Posted Monday, July 4, 2011 | Review Permalink
J-Man
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Hailing from New Jersey is Disconnect, a progressive rock duo formed in 2009 with three albums (and an EP) under their belt. All of these efforts were released over about a year and a half's time, and Indivision is their first release of 2011. This prog rock concept album covers a wide variety of musical styles while always remaining consistent and intriguing; the amount of talent contained in this two-man group is truly remarkable. Indivision is a terrific melodic modern prog effort in almost every regard, and I'd recommend this one in a heartbeat to people who enjoy this style of the genre. Although my first venture into the music of Disconnect, I can assure you that Indivision certainly won't be my last. This album is melodic progressive rock at its very best!

Disconnect plays a style of melodic progressive rock with a few pop tendencies. I'm often reminded of acts like Spock's Beard, Mars Hollow, and Rush. Although this brand of melodic prog may not strike you in the face as being particularly original, Disconnect manages to put their own spin on the genre and craft some terrific music in the process. Most of Indivision's strength lies is in the sheer power of the compositions. Although not particularly complex, the entire album is given a few unifying themes ("Prelude" is repeated later on) and feels intelligently crafted. During Indivision's hour-plus playing time, boredom never sets in and the album remains engaging for its entire duration. Very few bands can make albums this long without a few "filler tracks", so I applaud Disconnect for managing to remain this consistently impressive with their compositions. The musicianship is also very strong; even more impressive when one considers that the band is only a two-piece. Erich O'Dell's vocals are very prominent on the album, and I have no hesitation in calling him an excellent vocalist. His vocals do also spark a minor complaint of mine, however. Vocal harmonies are kept to a bare minimum on Indivision. A few vocal harmonies could've really fleshed-out the arrangements and added an extra dimension to Disconnect's music. This, combined with the somewhat bland (though certainly competent) production, serve as a minor detriment to the album. I've learned to look past both of these issues, but they do make Indivision sound a bit less professional than it could.

Despite those fairly minor setbacks, Indivision really is a spectacular modern prog album. Filled with melodic pop/rock hooks while still maintaining progressive rock complexity, Disconnect has created an observation that rivals the best in melodic prog. Indivision comes highly recommendable to people who love bands like Spock's Beard and Mars Hollow and also enjoy concept albums. Though the production may not be as polished as some other modern prog releases, it's still certainly enjoyable and charming. Disconnect has really blown me away on all fronts with this effort, and I will undoubtedly look further into their discography! 4 stars are warranted for this excellent release and highly recommended purchase.

Report this review (#476914)
Posted Tuesday, July 5, 2011 | Review Permalink
Negoba
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Professionally Rendered, Straightforward Modern Prog

Disconnect is a two-man home recording project between U.S. East Coast musicians Erich O'Dell and Brian Eschrich. Clearly, the pair have quite a bit of experience under their belts and their third album "Indivision" sounds very professional in terms of performance, recording, and engineering. The band has embraced PA by providing much of their work for streaming, and asking reviewers such as myself to check out their music.

Disconnect's sound sits very comfortably in the modern prog realm of Spock's Beard, Flower Kings, and Porcupine Tree. They explore a variety of sounds ranging from popish melodies, occasional heavy guitar, and some proggy instrumental sections. Unlike some multi- instrumentalists, both players handle all their duties with full skill. There are no holes in the sound, which I credit especially to Eschrich. Many of the home studio projects fall down in the rhythm department, but the percussion here is quite solid. Similarly, O'Dell has the taste to vary his guitar and vocal tonalities to maintain interest. Nothing here is showy or technical, all performances function in service of their song.

Overall, the tone is pretty mellow and doesn't hold many surprises, however. I've found my mind wandering during the album on every listen aside from the ones where I'm specifically working on this review. There are no "wow" moments. There's really nothing I hum or lyrics I recall after the album is over. And there's almost nothing that really distinguished this band from those that came before. There are occasional flashes of interest throughout the disc. The spacy instrumental "Rapture" evokes a darker mood, while a few of the fill lines on "Creeping Fade" hint at a more complex prog.

The band is extremely competent and tasty. The songs flow nicely one into another, and despite my previous criticisms, I never get bored as a listener. The sound covers a lot of territory. It's certainly pleasant work music for the prog fan. At the same time, the band is going to have to take some risks and find their own individual voices before they're going to be anything beside one of a huge number of acts of this kind.

Report this review (#492240)
Posted Friday, July 29, 2011 | Review Permalink
Andy Webb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Retired Admin
3 stars Good intentions

Disconnect is a young duo composed of Erich O'Dell and Brian Eschrich, who collectively make music despite the presence of a geographical gap between them (one lives in Maryland while the other lives in New Jersey). Since the project's inception in 2009, the band has pumped out material, with already three studio albums and an EP under their belt. The music is high quality modern progressive rock, full of innumerable and identifiable influences, nice composition tricks, and a lot of great flavor to the music. Indivision, the band's third studio album, is a perfect example of these traits. The album is a prime example of the band's clean and accessible form of modern prog rock, full of influences ranging from Rush to Neal Morse to various other prog and even pop rock bands. Although the music is not the most original or the most complex one could find, the album still presents itself as a wonderful manifestation of this band's spin on modern progressive rock.

The album kicks off with an obvious near tribute to Rush, with the "Prelude" containing a very similar structure and sound to the Prelude on Rush's "Hemispheres". From there the album begins its rotation of influences, as the music weaves in and out of different feels the band extracts from their many influences. However, they don't batter you with attempted complexity and strained progressiveness, as they have mastered fusing the two sides of their music - the prog and the ("normal" I guess) rock - to create an accessible and inviting atmosphere with their music.

Although at times the execution of the music is not perfect, the duo still retains a high level of quality throughout the album. The album seems to have its ups and downs, with periods of slightly awkward instrumentation balanced with periods of incredible musical grace. And although a few of the transitions between parts are not superb, the band balances these low points with the great movements that follow them. However, there are also many wonderful transitions that tie this seemingly massive 60+ minute epic together. There is an incredible amount of material within that hour of music, making the album seem almost too dense for one listen. But if the listener does stay for all 13 parts at one time, he'll find the suite is indeed an engrossing and rewarding experience.

Although I do have a few complains about the album, particularly the dry vocals, overall rather simple chord progressions, and at times overly "major" sound of the music, Disconnect's Indivision presents itself as a prime manifestation of the duo fantastic capacity as a compositional collaboration. The album is full of nice hooks, cool proggy riffs, and an eclectic blend of influences and sounds. The album isn't the prog world's next masterpiece and the album won't turn the genre on an entire new direction, but it still shows that the two guys certainly know what they're doing and are still progressing as a band to find their unique sound. I'll certainly look out for new music by this duo. 3+ stars.

Report this review (#504664)
Posted Wednesday, August 17, 2011 | Review Permalink
lazland
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars This is the latest project by the duo of Erich O'Dell and Brian Eschrich, with the name of the band emanating from the distance between them. You really wouldn't have thought so from listening to this, and I suppose that is a testament to the bond between them and the clearly professional use of modern technology in the writing, performing, and production of the album.

This work is basically one long slab of music running at about an hour long, with the main suite bookended by a prelude and finale. However, they have, very wisely in my opinion, split up the entire suite into clear and distinguishable sub parts, a la Rush 2112 (and there are very strong shades of that great act and album in the prelude and finale). There are, therefore, eleven divisible parts to Indivision the suite, and there is a whole lot going on within. The duo have pulled off the very difficult task of constantly engaging the listener throughout, and the only track that, to these ears, feels as if it really doesn't quite know what direction it wishes to go in is Creeping Fade. However, even with this slight whinge, there is a lot to enjoy in that track, especially when it starts to rock very heavily.

This is an original album, although very firmly rooted in the North American tradition of prog. You do, therefore, get clear reminders of the band's influences, which I would place as Rush, Spock's Beard, and Dream Theater especially, with flashes of Porcupine Tree and King Crimson (Perpetual Decay is extremely Crimsonesque), also quite evident. Yes, I know the latter two bands are not North American, per se, but both have made albums in that tradition, especially Crimson with their personnel in latter albums.

Whilst the music is, in the main, harmonious and rather upbeat (I especially enjoy O'Dell's guitar work, which contains frequent flashes of genius), the lyrics are, by contrast, somewhat dark, and strike me as the writer (O'Dell) attempting to come to terms with the growing passage of time and relationships. There is certainly some very pleasing poetry at play here, and this is, lyrically as well as musically, a mature body of work. O'Dell's vocal style reminds one strongly of Neal Morse, and he is an accomplished vocalist. Equally, Eschrich is very clearly a strong percussionist and drummer, and I do enjoy his orchestral keyboard effects, and especially his piano segments, which very strongly complement the guitar. For no better example of this versatility, listen to the fantastic conclusion of Time's Abyss, backing a superb lead guitar riff, acoustic guitar, and strong rhythm, and the spacey symphonic passage on Closing The Book.

Finally, what is nice about this LP is the fact that, unlike many of the works sent to us to review, the production is at all times crystal clear, and no listener could possibly criticise the band for clarity of sound or performance. This, obviously, makes a huge difference in terms of the listening experience, and they are to be congratulated.

I like this album, and enjoy it more with each listen. Rating it is somewhat difficult, because I feel it falls between a three star and four star review perfectly. It is very good, and passages contain sheer excellence, with absolutely no filler or throwaway tracks at all. For evidence of that, listen to the marvellously spellbinding instrumental segments, Rapture and Singularity.

3.5 stars then, if we had such a rating, but rounded up to an excellent rating of four stars, because this strikes me as one of the best modern crossover albums I have heard in a while. Lots of influences, originality, and music veering from the extreme mellow to commercial rock and thence to heavy prog make for an extremely pleasing album. There is, I hope, a strong future ahead for this act.

My thanks to Erich O'Dell for making this CD available to me for this review.

Report this review (#508328)
Posted Wednesday, August 24, 2011 | Review Permalink
3 stars Disconnect, an American middle-aged but recently prolific (4 albums in three years) studio project's third effort is apparently some sort of suite. But apart for book-ending theme, vague thematic unity (life, society, decay) and a tendency for some songs to end unexpectedly early, as if a movement in a larger suite, you wouldn't tell. You can listen in any order. For Disconnect - a project that is never too happy, - this is actually the least heavy album. There are clean guitars, country-ish tones, some uplifting solos and a piano, violin and accordion sounds (played on keyboards), although others songs are trade-markedly dark and pessimistic. If you are their fan, this different-than-the-rest, yet recognizably Disconnected album should suite you just fine. However, if you are new, this overlong and mostly slow album, without overt progressiveness, would probably bore you.
Report this review (#1059997)
Posted Monday, October 14, 2013 | Review Permalink

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