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Honorary Collaborator
3 stars LA-based US Prog band coming from the 90's and formed around keyboardist Teknobudd (aka Jorge Vasquez) and bassist/singer Ken Jaquess.Apparently they started as a trio with Matthew Hedrick behind the drum kit and Jaquess handing also the guitars on their eponymous debut, which was independently released in 1997.

They described their sound as modern Symphonic Rock and that's what's exactly going on listening to their first offering, which is pretty complex at moments, visiting the stylings of compatriots MAGELLAN, CAIRO and SPOCK'S BEARD and looking back to the 70's and the epic sound of YES, the E.L.P. grandieur and the pompous orchestrations of GENESIS.But there are no analog keyboards in here and they sound quite modern to a disturbing point at times, because some programmed instrumental parts are pretty weak and plastic.Fortunately the level of the compositions is pretty high with constant changes and extended instrumental parts with big symphonic textures and melodic overtones.Most of the tracks are quite long with CHRIS SQUIRE bass lines and keyboard parts with both flashy and dramatic edges, somewhere between E.L.P. and MARILLION.The atmosphere ranges from bombastic and complex to mellow and dreamy, where sporadic acoustic guitars are thrown in next to an omnipresent keyboard forefront and background.Vocals are pretty laid-back and of questionable range with Jaquess singing in low pitches.But the focus is usually on the music, which is very convincing despite the recording mediocrity.

Solid album, downgraded by the mass of digital instrumentation.Very symphonic at times, full of interesting melodies and instrumental efficiency, but not quite recommended for fans of natural instruments.To my ears it is pretty good and a decent purchase for lovers of the Neo/Symphonic Prog genre.

Report this review (#1277606)
Posted Tuesday, September 16, 2014 | Review Permalink
3 stars Like Eddie Jobson's solo release Zinc? Did ya dig UK post Holdsworth in the Danger Money and Night after Night days? Well I did -- and I like this Atlantis sound as well. Mystery man, Teknobudd, (Jorge Vazquez) , is flyin' fast on keys doing a fascinatingly superb job. Matthew Hedrick belts out tight Bozzio/Bruford/Palmer quality licks on the skins whilst vocalist, bassist, axeman, and pedals riff-meister, Ken Jacquess rivals olde J. Wetton n' G. Lee.

Vocals are good along the Jobson quality with the Moev leanings. Get this, I even picked up some Missing Persons in "Deux Ex Machina". I heard O'Hearn and Bozzio moments in the overall rhythmic structure. Track three, "The Olde King", absolutely slayed me. I shant begin to describe the synethesia I felt. Yow! What a monster!! When the tubular bells kicked in I nearly had an out-of-the-body experience. It was a heavy UK/ELP(Tarkus/Brain Salad Surgery) flashback in a 90's rockin' package. Turn this one up! "One for the Money" was also a heavy hitter in the ELP("Knife Edge")/ Moev thrust with an ominous mid-song breakdown that I wished was three times longer.

This band also knows how to mellow/space-out and drift off as done so nicely on "Run from the Past". Song six, "Little Man", gripped my soul as it is dedicated to a young son gone back to the Eternal Father. I too, know that road. They cannot return to us yet we shall go to them one day. Thanx for that one guys.

This seven song offering has my vote for very well done progrock and ya know, from this critic, it don't come easy.

Report this review (#2582319)
Posted Friday, July 30, 2021 | Review Permalink

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