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Low Budget Orchestra - Innerstellar CD (album) cover

INNERSTELLAR

Low Budget Orchestra

Neo-Prog


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3 stars The third album from this Finnish band.

Somehow, I have managed to bypass their second album, but I will track back later and review that one too.

The music on their, this one man band, third album has lost the more post rock sound from the first album and has become far more symphonic prog orientated. A soothing, soaring guitar sound is now the dominating sound here. It is soaring to the top of the mountain. This guitar wall has some quiet interludes too. The Dream Theater connotation is not as evident here as on the first album. But it is still there on the first two tracks.

The music is good. But the lack of vocals and also the lack of any really great melodies makes this album a bit too one dimentional throughout. I am missing that spark of greatness. But this is still a good album which will appeal greatly to all fans of instrumental symphonic prog. I am not quite there, though.

3.25

Report this review (#579036)
Posted Wednesday, November 30, 2011 | Review Permalink
Windhawk
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars LOW BUDGET ORCHESTRA is one of the creative vehicles of Finnish composer and instrumentalist Mikko Muranen, and the only one catering for the progressive rock oriented parts of his compositional repertoire. The first CD issued under this moniker appeared in 2006, and "Innerstellar" from 2011 is the third and most recent production to be released using this artist alias.

Instrumental progressive rock residing in the twilight zone between neo prog, progressive metal and symphonic art rock is the style explored on "Innerstellar" by LBO. The emphasis is on harmonic melodies with majestic arrangements, richly layered themes, constructed by a plethora of textures. A likely key audience might be those who own and treasure music by the likes of Arena and Joe Satriani, at least if they tend to enjoy grandiose, instrumental compositions.

Report this review (#621863)
Posted Saturday, January 28, 2012 | Review Permalink
Matti
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars This is the third album by the extraordinarily gifted one-man-band of Mikko Muranen, Finland. In his own words, L.B.O. is "instrumental progressive rock, with slight leaning to metal. The music consists of guitar driven musical journeys along with carefully structured layered orchestration, huge wall of sound and detailed production". Obviously he knows what he's doing, and especially what his strengths are; that description pretty accurately sums it all. But something more important than technical skill is more or less missing. I'm repeating my thoughts on The Second Best (2008) six months earlier, but I can't help remaining quite untouched by this massive high-tech music, in the emotional level which to me is essential in musical enjoyment. When the emphasis is so clearly on the delivery and building those walls of sound, the magic - or "heart" if you like - easily gets lost.

I'm aware it may be a matter of genre/style, that I'm not among the best target audience. For a more metal oriented listener this album might be a wonderful musical trip full of excitement and, well, some kind of passion even. These things are so subjective. It certainly has power and it's capable of loading you with energy when you're in need of that instead of more introspective aspects of music. It also would be misleading to suggest that this music is nothing but fast-paced and heroic self-indulgence. There are some delicate moments peaking like flowers through the parking lot, even though in the overall impression they get buried and they are never given space to grow, to bring more emotional substance to the music. This is my subjective feeling.

Taken individually the tracks have a symphonic edge but as a whole the album feels tiringly similar and with no real sense of dramatic arches or a concept. A bit overproduced and overworked walls of sound, after all? Perhaps collaborating with a musician whose approach to composing is completely different (ie. less technical and more emotional) it could result as a breath-taking masterpiece. Having heard all the three L.B.O. albums this is probably the most convincing, but their differences seem to be rather limited.

Report this review (#1300991)
Posted Friday, November 7, 2014 | Review Permalink

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