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ENOUGH BLAME TO GO AROUND

Disconnect

Crossover Prog


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lazland
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Enough Blame To Go Around is the latest release by American duo Disconnect (so named owing to the physical distance that separates them) of Erich O'Dell and Brian Eschrich. I thoroughly enjoyed the predecessor album, Indivision, so was rather looking forward to this release, which the boys have kindly made available to us at PA to review.

Whilst Indivision contained more than a dose of symphonic sounds amongst the obvious Rush influences, this new release takes them very much into heavier prog territory, so much so that I would alert fans of acts such as said Canadian trio and latter-day Crimson to give this one a spin.

There are only five tracks here, but given that the shortest track runs in at over eight & a half minutes, you certainly get your buck's worth.

It opens with Adventures in Taxidermy, which is another contender for track title of 2012. This is a dark and heavy piece of music, very much led by the lyrics therein. It is very complex in parts, although I might add that this track (unlike all others) sounds a little bit thin on the downloaded version of the album I have. Perhaps this is not evident on the CD, I don't know. I love the guitar solo mid-passage, and Eschrich is on top form on the drums. My only problem with the tracks is the "technically assisted" vocals, which sound rather monotone to me. It is, however, overall a strong start, and the synth led end is superb leading to a rather sinister denouement.

Inside Job is an instrumental track, and has the influence of Crimson written all over it. It is a very enjoyable and very well performed slab of instrumental heavy prog, and most definitely takes forward the dark mood of the opening track, with some very heavy sections which combine interesting synths and riffs very well. An excellent track.

This takes us into Falling Man, which is 9/11 wrought in music and lyrics. From the opening newscast samples of the shocking events, backed by a mournful middle eastern sound, you realise straight away that you are not in for a barrel of laughs. But don't let that put you off, because this is the album's tour de force, and by far the duo's finest recorded piece, and that, by the way, takes it close to masterpiece territory. The production is crystal clear throughout, and I far prefer the "clean" vocals here to the opener. It is a very complex piece of music running in at over 17 minutes long, and will very clearly appeal to those who, like me, think that the mid period Rush is that band's best. Essential for all heavy/metal progheads, it also includes some lovely melodic passages, and puts across very clearly the trauma, emotions, and conflicting views the world has of that dreadful day. Quite superb.

Sufficient has a nice middle eastern flavour at its opening section, which takes us into the main section which I feel is the most overtly accessible track on the album, with a very pleasing rhythm and passages which, again, put me in mind of 1980's Crimson. The guitar solos by O'Dell are utterly top notch, and, indeed, his playing is a true highlight of the album as a whole. A very good, solid, track.

The final track is Twisting The Knife, and also the longest at almost 19 minutes in length. There are, as you would expect, a plethora of changing moods and tempos in such a long track, but I especially appreciated the melodic passages which are more to the fore, whilst the heavier passages also carry more than a touch of Gilmour & Floyd influenced riffs. Lyrically, I take this to be a revenge piece, or even a simple murder of a former loved one, and there seems to be more than a bit of pleasure taken by the protagonist. So, dark it is again, and reaffirms in the heavier moments the direction the duo are taking, but also has a an awful lot for those who enjoy the more melodic side of prog to enjoy. The end is suitably epic, with some lovely synths overlaying a great riff.

So then, here we have an outfit whose growing numbers of admirers will find themselves extremely pleased by this release. It is not the sound of an act standing still, but, rather, one who is looking to strive forward and progress their sound, in this case to a heavier feel. The album is never less than excellent musically, and the dark nature will appeal to those who appreciate the emotion and power progressive rock music can bring.

I rated the last album 3.5 stars (if we had such a rating), rounded up to four. Well, this one gets the clear four star rating, an excellent album which I can wholeheartedly recommend.

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Send comments to lazland (BETA) | Report this review (#753683)
Posted Tuesday, May 15, 2012 | Review Permalink
5 stars Was very pleased to find out this weekend that Disconnect has released another new album. I was a big fan of their last album, which showed the band moving in a slightly symphonic direction. But "Enough Blame To Go Around" reveals the band has turned up the gain on their amps and shifted back into the realm of heavier prog. This review is based on the MP3 download link the band has provided for Prog Archive members.

The opening track "Adventures In Taxidermy" grabs you right away. I'm hearing a bigger keyboard sound on this than I've heard in most of their previous work. This is a good thing. The first guitar solo has some really nice intertwining rhythm guitar and piano work happening. The choruses will bring to mind a Neal Morse feel, which is something this band has shown us in the past (again, a good thing). Incredibly dense and heavy middle section gives way to a Crimson-esque interlude heading back into the chorus again. Lyrics are pretty sinister throughout, enjoyed those as well. Eschrich's drums are astounding, as always. I'm noticing a larger presence of backing vocals as well than I've heard from these guys in the past.

"Inside Job" is a rousing instrumental in the spirit of late-era King Crimson (TCOL, Power To Believe, etc). Really great guitar work here, and once again I hear a more prevalent keyboard presence than in albums past. Great track.

Next up....whew...."Falling Man". As a previous reviewer pointed out, this is a song which details the events of 9/11 as well as all the various political/social implications of West vs. East. The music likewise shows the same duplicity as the lyrics. An overwhelmingly powerful track, not just for its thematic content but the music alone is an incredible journey. The band shifts from western forms to eastern forms flawlessly (especially a breathtaking middle section where we hear a Middle Eastern-flavored acoustic breakdown). Powerful, powerful stuff. In my opinion the band's finest moment to date.

"Sufficient" is next - a deceptive track that at first feels a bit straightforward but soon gives us another example of the band's crafty songwriting skills. Guitar leads are once again top-notch, and I'm also a big fan of the bass lines in this song. No doubt this is the most 'accessible' song on the album, but clocking in at over 9:00 in length, is deceptively complex.

Next the longest track, "Twisting the Knife". First 2:00 are very mellow, and to be honest it is refreshing after listening to the relative heaviness of the first 4 tracks. Another song with dark lyrical content, this track may well be the most complex on the album although "Falling Man" still wins out due to the stark nature of its content. My absolute favorite guitar work on the entire album are found in the leads of this song, some of the solos are simply SOARING. You'll hear flavors of David Gilmour and even Stevie Ray Vaughan.

I've been a big supporter of this band on past albums - "Enough Blame To Go Around" not only shows a band evolving into better songwriters, but also the evolution of the secondary parts of their sound - the bass and keyboards here on the new album are much more prevalent than in the past. The vocal work by O'Dell on this album is, without question, his best to date. Eschrich's drumming remains impeccable and overwhelming on all levels.

Highly recommended, a great example as to why independent "unknown" bands cannot be overlooked.

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Send comments to JasonTodd (BETA) | Report this review (#755811)
Posted Sunday, May 20, 2012 | Review Permalink
VanVanVan
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars I'll admit that I didn't really know anything about Disconnect before receiving this album to review, but if the rest of their catalog is as good as this then these guys haven't been getting their due. The band's bio state that its two members record separately while working together from different states, which makes the tightness of this album all the more impressive.

Musically, Disconnect plays what I would label a kind of heavy Neo or symphonic prog-there are sections that remind me a great deal of Neal Morse and Spock's Beard, but there are also parts that are dead on for Rush. It's a great style that gives a lot of the tracks a very familiar feel without ever coming off as clones, and the end result is a very satisfying, fresh sounding album that I think will appeal to fans of progressive rock both old and new.

'Adventures In Taxidermy' begins the album with a swirl of atmospheric sounds which eventually solidify into a dark and mysterious guitar/synth dual line. From this develops a guitar and bass line over which some muted and slightly distorted vocals begin to appear. I can hear some similarities to Tool or even Dream Theater in this section, though the sound here is far more laid back than either of those bands. Keeping in the heavy vein, the song introduces even heavier guitars at about the 6.5 minute mark, with properly crunching riffs underlying a very good solo. A driving but still catchy vocal melody takes over after this, followed by another intriguing guitar solo, and a crashing finale of synth and guitar brings the song to an epic close. 'Adventures In Taxidermy' is one of those rare songs that manages to nod to a lot of other groups without ever sounding too much like them, and because of that it's a great opener for the album and an excellent harbinger of things to come.

'Inside Job' is an instrumental track that kicks off with an opening that is again very slightly reminiscent of Dream Theater or perhaps even of some of Rush's heavier moments. With a great repeating segment serving as the track's backbone, a variety of solos are weaved in and out of the track's framework, with nary a dull moment and plenty of impressive playing. There's even a solo that reminds me very strongly of some of the instrumental parts from the Beatles' 'Tomorrow Never Knows,' which I don't believe is a comparison I've ever made before. Overall, 'Inside Job' is a great prog instrumental, consistently interesting throughout and in my opinion one of the best tracks on the album.

'Falling Man' begins with some sound clips that sound like they're from TV coverage of the 9/11 attacks laid over some faintly eastern sounding string parts. After these conclude a repeating guitar riff comes in, quickly followed by vocals. More excellent guitar solos fill in the sections between vocals, while pounding, crunchy riffs give the track a decided edge. A softer section follows, with piano and synth leading bass and percussion under plaintive vocals that match the somber lyrics. A section that reminds very strongly of Rush follows, sounding like it could have come right off one of that band's late 70s albums. A very cool, finger-picked guitar part follows this, and with it return the strings, giving this part a slightly more atmospheric feel. The vocals return very briefly before the track launches into an amazing, eastern-sounding instrumental section that sounds like it could feature a sitar, though it may simply be a guitar made to sound like one. Either way, it sounds spectacular, and when percussion and bass re-enter behind a blistering guitar solo, it all makes for a very satisfying instrumental section. The final five minutes of the track are much more dominated by vocals, though there are a variety of motifs used, and all of them are excellent. Especially of note is a section around the 14:30 mark, which combines guitar, synth and vocals to create an incredibly emotional atmosphere. The track concludes with a sort of repeated vocal mantra with the music underneath growing ever more intense until it finally and suddenly falls off to nothing with the last word of the song. 'Falling Man' is a great epic and an overall stunning piece of work that serves very well as a central peak in the album.

'Sufficient' again starts off with a dark, mysterious atmosphere. There's some minimal use of string sounds, but the track really begins in earnest when vocals crash in at about 30 seconds in, accompanied by percussion and keyboards. A very catchy 'chorus' section makes great use of vocal harmonies, and overall the track has a much cheerier sound than the previous track's decidedly melancholy feel. Still, however, there is a hardened edge to parts of the track provided by the inclusion of the heavy guitar that has been all over this album. At about the 4 and a half minute mark, there's a spoken word section backed up by some decidedly electronic sounding keyboards. Normally I'm not the biggest fan of spoken word in music, but along with the electronic accompaniment it works quite well here, and it's used briefly enough that it's hardly an issue to begin with. 'Sufficient,' while not as hefty a piece as the epic before it, is nonetheless a good song and a great break between the album's two epics.

'Twisting The Knife' begins extremely calmly, with some delicate piano and spacey guitar languidly existing over some minimalistic percussion. The effect is incredibly relaxing; with definite touches of Floyd, it provides an excellent introduction to the song. It doesn't last long, however, as a very Neal Morse-ian motif quickly takes over, with a melodically excellent theme repeating under the vocals. The track switches themes again almost as quickly, however, dropping into a darkly psychedelic, vocal dominated section that vaguely reminds me of early Spock's Beard. A darker vocal section follows before the first theme returns at about the 11 minute mark, providing a nice sense of cohesion to the track despite its occasional disjointedness. A variety of primarily vocal-led sections follow, and the track concludes with a killer guitar solo. 'Twisting the Knife' is an excellent closer to this very good album and a very good song in its own right.

If I have one minor complaint with the album, it's that the vocals (which often sound similar to a slightly rawer Neal Morse) aren't my favorite, but they're certainly not bad and they generally work well within the context of the music. Overall, then, Enough Blame to Go Around is a very good album, with a good blend of melodic accessibility and proggy knottiness. Fans of Neo-Prog or modern symphonic should find plenty to like here, as should those who like a bit more heaviness in their prog. Definitely recommended.

4/5

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Send comments to VanVanVan (BETA) | Report this review (#757128)
Posted Wednesday, May 23, 2012 | Review Permalink
5 stars I've been looking forward to the new Disconnect album for awhile, and Enough Blame To Go Around certainly does not disappoint. These guys just keep getting better...they really took off on Obscuros, and have been really stepping up their game ever since.

Hard to live up to such a great title as Adventures in Taxidermy musically, but there is no problem here in matching the genius of the name. As with earlier Disconnect work, I get a sense of latter day King Crimson in this one in O'Dell's guitar work. A top notch song, and great way to open an album.

From there, we get the instrumental Inside Job. Every album has to have a lowest point, and fortunately, it doesn't get very low on this one...a great song, that only suffers from being perhaps a minute too long. Indivision suffered in the shortness of Singularity...perhaps next album, they will find the happy medium on their next instrumental.

I know they say to "Never Forget", but 9/11, is not something I am a big fan of revisiting too often...but Falling Man has indeed changed that perspective. I never thought I could find enjoyment in listening to such a topic...but they have somehow managed to pull it off. I am particularly impressed with the Middle Eastern inspired guitar work midway through.

I'm usually a sucker for the epic, but Sufficient may be the best work on this album. I absolutely love the vocal work in the track, and the guitar work is perhaps O'Dell's best.

The album closes with Twisting the Knife. Did I say Sufficient was the best? I may have meant this track. One thing I always admired about Echolyn's Mei was the ability to make a 49 minute song interesting, yet still sound like a single song rather that a bunch of songs crammed together. While on a much smaller scale at 18 minutes...it's the first thing I thought about when I listened to Twisting the Knife. Not the sound...but the flow...it's just beautiful. A giant step forward in writing maturity.

As mentioned earlier, I have been a fan of disconnect for awhile...and they just keep getting better. The influences in sound are still all there, but now, there seems to be even more of a "Disconnect" sound. They are truly coming into their own...and once again, I am left waiting in anticipation of their next album.

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Send comments to HorribleCatfish (BETA) | Report this review (#763214)
Posted Sunday, June 03, 2012 | Review Permalink
Andy Webb
FORUM & SITE ADMIN GROUP
Site and Forum Admin
4 stars I have always been impressed by musical duos who manage to create quality despite only two minds being involved. And while I'm familiar with the American duo Disconnect, which is comprised of Erich O'Dell and Brian Eschrich, I am continually impressed especially by these two guys mainly because not only is it only them doing everything, they also handle all this in conjunction to a geographical gap between them (one lives in Maryland while the other lives in New Jersey). Despite this barrier, however, the band still manages to pump out album after album since their 2009 formation, as they have already released four studio albums and an EP since 2010. Even without the help of a label, the music is high quality, well produced, and in general a great listen.

Their fourth album, entitled Enough Blame to go Around is easily the more complex, mature, and heavy album they've released to date. The album comprised of 5 songs only, each of respectable or longer length. Each composition is like its own little world on the album; every song has a distinct mood, beat, and message that adds to the epic and brooding atmosphere of the album. I had the privilege of reviewing their 2011 album Indivision, and if that album was the band's tribute to the great Canadian proggers Rush, this album is certainly the band's tribute to the legendary King Crimson, as the album is wrought with dark, experimental, and heavy expanses of music all acknowledging Fripp's progressive band of merry men. However, just like on their last album, the band isn't afraid to dip into numerous pots of influence, utilizing not only an influenced sound but also their own style, which added an excellent flair to the album.

The best example of the great diversity of the album is simply listening to the introductions of each of the five songs. "Adventures in Taxidermy" introduces the album with a dark and brooding atmosphere accentuated by a heavy synth/guitar duo riff. This song flows nicely into "Inside Job," which opens with an almost ethnic and upbeat, yet still intense, percussive beat which flows into an uncannily Crimson-esque multi-part guitar harmony riff such as the ones seen between Fripp and Belew on the Discipline-era albums. "Falling Man" then opens with a concept-oriented soundclip intro of 9/11 newscasts in a haunting, oppressive way. "Sufficient" is the lighter of the tracks, opening with lighter percussion, Rush-ian guitar chord riffs, and some pleasant vocals. The 18-minute closing epic "Twisting the Knife" opens in an almost melancholy way ? gently played guitar chords, quiet piano notes, and a guitar solo that seems to have been taking straight from the Crimson classic "Sheltering Sky" ? airy, atmospheric, and almost whimsical in a blue way. While each intro doesn't speak for every mood explored in each song, just by exploring those themes one can see quite easily the band held nothing back in terms of creativity while making this album.

The entire album is a tour de force of the band's compositional, technical, and aggressive skill. Every song, whether it's based in a King Crimson-esque format, a Spock's Beardian melodic section, or a riffing passage worthy of Rush, has its moments of headbanging heaviness, hummable melodies (maybe except the intense instrumental Inside Job), and complex and brooding atmospheres. The lyrics can be haunting or meaningful (especially in the case of Falling Man), the vocals have their share of dryness and harmony, and the instrumentation is equally split between technicality and emotion. While every guitar solo doesn't fit perfectly with the music, there are times when the solo or instrumental section meshes perfectly with the mood of the song, especially in Twisting the Knife. Not every musical nugget is perfect, but overall the entire album is incredibly well put together and very well arranged.

While the sheer volume of music contained within the five songs is difficult to organize and keep within the confines of a simple review, it's clear that Enough Blame to go Around is a truly magnificent opus of Disconnect. Of what I've heard of the band (which is most of their material), this seems to be their best album yet. There a points that aren't as fitting as others, but in the end it all fits together quite nicely. The album runs gamut with powerful riffs and intense music, and if any piece of music this band creates will be remembered, this will certainly be it. 4- stars.

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Send comments to Andy Webb (BETA) | Report this review (#768699)
Posted Saturday, June 09, 2012 | Review Permalink
5 stars Amazed, yet again...I have been following these guys for years now and it's nice to see how their albums have evolved. This album certainly encompasses all aspects of what prog rock is defined as. The song break downs are orchestrated with such precision, and the song lyrics just flat out rock.

I really can't find any one particular song I like more than the next, but the most noteworthy is Falling Man, 9:06...I think this shows how versatile these guy can be.

My job allows me to sit a desk with headphones on and I find myself always listening to their albums Obscuros, Indivision, Radio Hostile, Fragments, or their finest to date (Enough Blame To Go Around). Spocks Beard, Rush, Dream Theater, Gabriel, Van Der Graff Generator are my fav's and yet, Disconnect is what I prefer 90% of the time. No need to criticize, just listen to the good music. Good job guys!

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Send comments to ibanezkm (BETA) | Report this review (#769392)
Posted Monday, June 11, 2012 | Review Permalink
5 stars I am a fan of Disconnect and in anticipation of their new release, have expanded my prog horizon to reach out and listen to other bands that have influenced Disconnect's collaborators so I consider myself well-rounded. Their new release "Enough Blame To Go Around" is EPIC! This is a BRILLIANT work and the tracks weave a intricate tapestry of angst, ire, duplicity and general feelings of a world gone awry. Those descriptions don't match with the word BRILLIANT, but for a work of music to elicit those feelings is incredible. Instead of going track by track, I am jumping directly to my favorite - track 3 "Falling Man". Falling Man is for me a very emotional visit to the events and aftermath of 9/11 which was a very real time in my life. The use of news clips intertwined with percussion and guitar in the intro is clever and when the voice of Bin Laden (or whoever it is speaking) says in the final sentence "retaliate" and BOOM - right into the driving lead of the vocals -- sends chills just thinking about that orchestration! The lyrics decidedly put forth that complacency has just rolled over in it's sleep for most -- a reminder of the patriotism that was so well worn for awhile until many think of the time as just another place in a history book. Disconnect continually looms the East versus West issues during the course of the 17:32 minute track. The Eastern taste of tones mid-song just blows me away -- I am overcome with awe and emotion that these ethnic tones are well-placed and well done! I don't know if the gentlemen of Disconnect spent time abroad studying the techniques of Eastern music or what, but it is a very cool display of their musical diversity. "Adventures in Taxidermy" -- what a great title for such a dark track -- from the strange sounds during the intro - reminiscent of a saw or drill - and the chunky space guitar and muted mega-phone vocals - lyrics worthy of listening to intently, the story sounds like something taken from the newspaper and embellished to fit the designs of the curious! The instrumental track "Inside Job" is curious if not just good filler. I can see this track used in a good, intense movie drama. Chunky guitars with classic drums -- like a track that RUSH had in mind but never finished it. I like it. "Sufficient" is a track that upon first listen I thought was just alright, but it has grown on me, especially the pacing -- it meanders through and is refreshing after exhausting my emotions during Falling Man! I think of it as my respite track before I hit "Twisting the Knife"... which at 18:44 is a commitment. I feel the spirit of King Crimson and a visit by Kevin Gilbert stroll during the intro of the track, then it gets all funky and classic progressive rock - I mean really CLASSIC. The guitar work on this track ambles around stylings in the like of Jeff Beck, Robert Fripp, David Gilmore, and even a little Mark Knopfler. I love the "hopeful" piano sound at moments during this track. I don't have anything bad to say and I am really not a fan of long songs - but the changes during the tracks make them sound curiously independent yet interdependent. Enough Blame To Go Around is a BRILLIANT release by an independent band who really need to get out, hook up with a well known prog group and tour. I would love to see Disconnect live. This is my summer album. I'm taking it to the beach; on the road trips; to the mountains; on the flights. Join me, won't you?

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Send comments to Aurora_1125 (BETA) | Report this review (#771829)
Posted Friday, June 15, 2012 | Review Permalink
5 stars Initially I only gave this album a rating, but after extensive listening I am circling back to post a full review.   This album has remained in my regular playing rotation for a couple months now and I see it remaining there for some time.  My first exposure to this band was their last album (Indivision), which I found to be excellent - but Enough Blame To Go Around is consistently tremendous throughout.  From the wonderfully dark arrangement & lyrics of the opening track (Adventures In Taxidermy), through the King Crimson/Tool-influenced instrumental (Inside Job), the listener arrives at the band's undeniable masterpiece to date: Falling Man.  Not only does the epic track itself elevate the listener with its intense shifting of moods/scenes o the 9/11 attacks, it elevates the entire album and propels the listener forward into the melodic yet complex track Sufficient.  The album delivers a finishing blow with another lengthy epic, Twisting The Knife.  With this album I hear a band coming into its own, having found their sound and vibe.  

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Send comments to MarcellusDarson (BETA) | Report this review (#774782)
Posted Wednesday, June 20, 2012 | Review Permalink
5 stars As I began listening to 'Enough Blame To Go Around', I was curious to see in what direction Disconnect would go, as they have alternated concept albums with non-concept albums. This new album falls into the latter category, but as I listen to it somehow it still feels like I'm in the middle of a continuing story. Each track is a journey unto itself and I can hear how the band's songwriting and arrangement skills have grown since their first album a couple years ago. While the influences of Pink Floyd, King Crimson and Rush are still heard, what we get on this album is a band that has forged their own sound and seems to have found their "zone".

Disconnect are at their very best when composing long tracks - indeed, the shortest track on this album is still over 8 minutes long. My listening history with respect to Disconnect has taught me that their sound changes from album to album - however here on 'Enough Blame To Go Around', each track stands alone as its own journey. No two songs are cut from the same cloth, the band has taken each track on its own path.

Without question the backbone of the album are the two epic tracks "Falling Man" and "Twisting The Knife". "Falling Man" is a heartfelt memoir of the 9/11 terrorist attacks and winds its way through various musical forms (including a brilliant Arabesque breakdown that is absolutely stunning), while its lyrics never lose sight of the human side of that tragic day. "Twisting The Knife" is equally as impressive musically, changing moods and styles frequently throughout its 18+ minutes. This is not to ignore the other 3 songs, of which perhaps "Sufficient" is my favorite as it sort of sneaks up on you. It's probably the most straightforward song found here and it's not the kind of track that hits you right away....but on the 2nd or 3rd listen it really grabbed me.

As they are a 2-man outfit, I find it amazing they are able to produce music of this magnitude. One key area of their recordings that consistently improves with each release is the overall mix of their work. The stereo image is beautiful, and I can even hear differences in how Eschrich's drums are mixed on this album versus prior albums. Speaking as someone who knows a thing or two about recording and mixing, 'Enough Blame To Go Around' is by far their best "sounding" album yet in addition to being their strongest collection of songs & performances. Highly recommended.

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Send comments to PhilB_VT (BETA) | Report this review (#775945)
Posted Friday, June 22, 2012 | Review Permalink
Conor Fynes
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars 'Enough Blame To Go Around' - Disconnect (7/10)

Say what you will; the internet is a pretty cool thing. It's arguably an innovation of significance on par with that of the printing press or radio, and without it, I would likely have never seen so many 'cute kitten' videos. Presumably, the internet also plays a great role in the music of Disconnect, an American two-man duo living states apart from each other. A musical collision of longtime collaborators Brian Eschrich and Erich O'Dell, Disconnect is an act that has received quite a bit of attention within the progressive community, in spite of releasing their music independently. I first heard about this band back in 2010 or 2011 with their album "Indivision", an album I found myself instantly enjoying. Being a big fan of the immortal Rush, Disconnect's distinct "Hemispheres"-era influence was a real joy to behold. "Enough Blame To Go Around" is Disconnect's fourth offering to the world of prog, and while they are still drawing from a similar palette of sounds and influences, the ambition has been kicked up a notch. Disconnect may not be as instantly enjoyable as they were on "Indivision", but the lasting quality makes it entirely worth checking out.

"Enough Blame To Go Around" is a tightly performed and put-together album, but it rarely feels like a professionally orchestrated work. As far as the production is concerned, the music could have been helped with a little added polish, but the 'homegrown' sound Disconnect sports gives it a feeling of instant warmth that I rarely hear in a lot of mechanical prog these days. These things considered, the complexity and scope of Disconnect's songwriting is rather remarkable this time around. Although the music is highly melodic and vocal-driven, Disconnect have amped up the 'proggy' aspect of their identity. A quick look at the back of the CD jewel case proves my point; two of the songs rest between the seventeen and nineteen minute marks, and the runt of the litter ("Inside Job") is a hefty eight-and-a-half minutes. This should also go to prove another of my points; despite the wealth of relatively accessible moments throughout "Enough Blame To Go Around", Disconnect have crafted an album that demands several listens before it starts making total sense. As 'epics' go, these pieces don't have the sort of classic structure to them, and can feel sometimes like a string of interesting ideas tied together in a way that is only half- complimentary.

Were I judging Disconnect's songwriting based on its structure alone, I may have been disappointed, likely negatively comparing it to the crisp 'album-long epic' flow on "Indivision". While I wouldn't say that Disconnect have quite nailed the ebb-and-flow of a progressive rock epic, there are a great deal of great passages within that are totally worth the patchy structures. Parts of "Twisting the Knife" are impossible not to be reminded of Rush's "The Camera Eye", and its swirling guitar climax closes off the album brilliantly. It is also impossible not to be moved in some way by the opening moments of "Falling Man", a brilliantly arranged Middle-Eastern music sample played underneath a collage of news reports of the 9/11 attacks. In truth, every track offers a fair share of wonderful moments, although I cannot help but wish that they were a little more organized.

Although the 'disconnected' nature of Disconnect's recording might lead to assumptions that their performance here is amateurish, O'Dell and Eschrich have a great musical chemistry. In particular, Eschrich's drumming is consistently impressive, offering a tightness that the rest of the sound is built around. Erich O'Dell's voice is a major part of the music, and though his vocals may not have a powerful resonance to them, he's capable of conveying a good warmth and feeling. O'Dell's big talent is with the electric guitar. Falling somewhere between the thoughtful rhythms of Alex Lifeson and the soulful lead style of David Gilmour, O'Dell brings many different tones to the table throughout the hour-plus of music on "Enough Blame To Go Around". As mentioned by other reviewers, the musical pieces do not always fit, but Disconnect's musical successes are passionate and powerful.

Although Disconnect's melodic style seems better fitted for a more concise song format, I give them every bit of encouragement to go 'big' with their sound. With that being said, I feel like "Enough Blame To Go Around" could have been even better, given a little more focus and structure. Although their recording standard is distinguishable from a 'professional' calibre, Disconnect have put together a tasteful, albeit inconsistent record with this one.

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Send comments to Conor Fynes (BETA) | Report this review (#791470)
Posted Friday, July 20, 2012 | Review Permalink
5 stars I know of Disconnect as one of their members is local to where I live. I've heard each of their albums including this newest release, thanks to meeting one of their members (Erich) in person at his live solo gigs. From their first album I was impressed with their ability to do what they do considering they consist of two guys who collaborate over a great distance and somehow make it all work. It seems like with each album they keep gathering more speed. As a performing musician myself, I have been amazed at what they've done in the past. On this album, the two long tracks (Falling Man & Twistng the Knife) are really an album to themselves and move from one section to the next, fitting perfectly together. I lost a nephew in the 9/11 attacks, so when I first heard the opening minutes of Falling Man I was really moved by it....so much that I nearly stopped playing the song. Glad I stuck with it as it is truly an epic track. Twisting the Knife is an equally powerful song musically, I hear Floyd influences on this one and even some non prog influences (Stevie Ray Vaughan style solo in one section). Not to ignore the other three songs but those two really stand out. The instrumental (Inside Job) sounds like a bit of Tool mixed with a bit of early King Crimson. Really excellent stuff and well executed.

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Send comments to RustedAxle (BETA) | Report this review (#792415)
Posted Sunday, July 22, 2012 | Review Permalink
5 stars I first heard about Disconnect back in 2010 when their album Obscuros was being featured on Aural Moon's New Moon on Monday show. Aside from the fact that it's only two guys making all this racket, their melodic, groove-based brand of prog struck a chord with me.

On Enough Blame To Go Around, they have upped the ante considerably. This new album is so impressive that it's making me reconsider the lofty ratings I've given their previous albums. As another review stated, this is their magnum opus, one that I certainly hope they'll be able to top in the future.

Although their music is primarily guitar-driven (and why not, Erich O'Dell is a fantastic guitarist), EBTGA's sound is much more dominated this time around by a wide array of keyboard tones, ethnic instruments and creepy sound effects. The more I listen, the more I realize an attempt was made to avoid 4/4 time as much as possible, but it's mostly done in a way that''s very subtle (the verse sections of Sufficient are a great example).

They've also upped the distortion considerably. While none of their songs could ever be considered happy, this is by far Disconnect at their most aggressive, moody, loud and yes, progressive. In much the same way I got an overwhelming feeling of joy from the new Echolyn album, I get the impression that the guys in Disconnect were royally pissed when they wrote these songs.

Sometimes getting angry is a good thing, apparently.

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Send comments to pearty (BETA) | Report this review (#797135)
Posted Monday, July 30, 2012 | Review Permalink
5 stars I heard the music of Disconnect for the very first time on 9/11/12 (the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks) while listening to Aural Moon. The song 'Falling Man" came up on the Aural Moon playlist and I was very moved by this track. So moved, I went out and downloaded the entire album that very same day. I've not heard many songs written about the event and certainly have never heard a prog band write a song that documents the events of that sad day. It's a haunting and powerful song and it treads the line carefully enough not to make a political statement in any direction. My other standout track is the closing track "Twisting The Knife" which is another very long number that takes the listener through a wide variety of style changes.

The album is rounded out with an instrumental that brings to mind early King Crimson, as well as the curious "Adventures In Taxidermy"...a track that took a couple listens before I realized what the song was actually about (a murder). The remaining track "Sufficient" stands out on its own as it has a different tone than any of the other songs. A quieter approach but the lyrics are quite stabbing in contrast to the music underneath.

The power of the two long tracks alone is more than enough to carry this album, but it is not brought down in the least by the 3 remaining tracks whatsoever. Each of these songs have their own identity, I do not hear a band that is repeating itself or relying on the same tricks over & over. My single issue with the album is that the vocals take a bit of getting used to. At first I was a little uncomfortable with the singing style, but after the 2nd listen (and beyond) I came to appreciate the vocals as much as anything else. Overall an outstanding album by an unknown group which will stay in my playing rotation for a long time to come.

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Send comments to SueB (BETA) | Report this review (#823480)
Posted Tuesday, September 18, 2012 | Review Permalink
Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars Disconnect's Enough Blame to Go Around is by the numbers hobbyist prog optimised for the less tasteful and discerning listener. They've clearly been listening to a lot of Porcupine Tree because they use a lot of the "vocals that sound as though they are coming through a telephone" effect that Steven Wilson likes without showing any aesthetic judgement as to where it belongs or when it might be best to shut up, and their instrumental chops are technical enough to be boring but not honed enough to have character. In short, it's utterly pedestrian and dull, and to add insult to injury they've included a shot of someone dying on 9/11 as the cover art as some sort of cheap, lazy attempt to make some sort of statement. The only statement the album makes for me is "you wasted your time here".

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Send comments to Warthur (BETA) | Report this review (#843471)
Posted Tuesday, October 23, 2012 | Review Permalink
5 stars First please pardon my writing as English is not my first language. Disconnect is a passionate progressive American duo who decided to make music their lives (as many groups actually!). The formation of the group dates back to 2009, and since then they have released no less than four albums and one EP. Suffice to say they had a lot of ideas and lots of inspiration. But is this always the case with their new album, "Enough Blame To Go Around"? Indeed it is.

Many influences are felt, especially in the modern progressive, especially from groups like Porcupine Tree, The Flower Kings and Spock's Beard. Thus, the stamp Erich O'Dell, if not perfectly controlled, strongly reminiscent of that of Roine Stolt, leader of the Flower Kings, while we find the same reverb on the voice, and the same vibrato worked on moments loud and quiet. This is not a bad thing, quite the contrary, it gives birth to polyphony sometimes quite bold and very well turned as the "Look Around! 'Of' Adventures in Taxidermy "or the coda of 'Falling Man', which is also by far the best song on the album. I hear lots of vintage keyboards used throughout this album, a very nice touch indeed.

But what is interesting is that here, as in many progressive works behind the form hides its background, thus forming the so far would not qualify as art total involving many aspects including the cover artwork and lyrics. Thus, most of the songs are a theme often quite interesting: 'Adventures in Taxidermy' is based on a true story that occurred in America, namely, a taxidermist who murdered his wife and having disguised the murder in his creations. 'Falling Man' is 17 minutes long and develops a reflection on the differences between Eastern and Western mentalities background commemorating the victims of the attack on the World Trade Center, with no real political intentions hear if one pays attention to the lyrics. The theme is wonderfully showcased through collages of journalistic extracts recalling the terror of the attack as well as use of acoustic timbres and percussion referring to oriental/middle eastern sounds. But the two musicians did not abandon their instruments so far, as evidenced by 'Inside Job', and quite heavy instrumental track filled with great riffs. 'Sufficient' is also a good piece dominated by major polyphony catchy and strongly reminiscent of Porcupine Tree.

"Enough Blame To Go Around" is an excellent modern prog album. With 5 pieces (including 3 over 12 minutes), ideas are fused from everywhere and the production quality is excellent. This album is sure to challenge listeners fond of music rich and searched.

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Send comments to sakerfeldt (BETA) | Report this review (#844079)
Posted Tuesday, October 23, 2012 | Review Permalink
5 stars I was unaware of Disconnect until I heard a track recently from their new album broadcast at Aural Moon. The track was called 'Inside Job' (an instrumental track) and I enjoyed it enough to go out and download purchase the entire album. I've gotten bored with a lot of well-known prog and have lately been spending more time checking out what the indie bands have to offer. 'Enough Blame To Go Around' is one of the most memorable albums I have heard this year. The band's songwriting style is complex enough to appease just about any prog fan, but also delivers an emotional punch in terms of lyrical style and melody. Their sound is not symphonic or metal-ish, however there are elements of heavy prog and eclectic prog to be found here. Influences of King Crimson and Porcupine Tree are found here but not at all derivative.

The opening track 'Adventures in Taxidermy' is delightfully dark both lyrically and musically and rolls nicely into the aforementioned 'Inside Job' instrumental. This is followed by the truly epic 'Falling Man', an account/observation of 9/11. This is hands down one of the best prog tracks I've heard from any band this year. There are some absolutely astounding musical breaks here, of particular note are the Middle Eastern acoustic sections of the song ? an entire world of sound you rarely hear prog bands venture into. This is followed by 'Sufficient', a seemingly straightforward track of which my appreciate continues to grow over time with its clever usage of odd meter. The album closes with another epic track 'Twisting The Knife', which while not as impactful and impressive as 'Falling Man', it features some great moments as well throughout its 18+ minute lifespan. Within it we are treated to additional influences of Pink Floyd and Steely Dan.

In Disconnect I hear a band that appears to be on the verge of breaking out from their influences and holding their own amongst the cluttered prog landscape. Their arrangements are very tight and while there are some points where additional elevation may have been possible, this does not detract from my appreciation of this album. The vocals are solid throughout, complementing the music well, quite soulful and sincere yet not quite reaching that 'next level'. From an instrumentation perspective, I have great respect for the guitar work ? which shows technical proficiency as well as truly emotive sensibility. The usage of vintage keyboards is a centerpoint to Disconnect's sound and are distributed tastefully throughout each track. The drum performance is simply fantastic ? precise, powerful and appropriate. I plan to check out the band's back catalog and look forward to their future efforst. For me, this album receives 4.5 stars, rounded up to 5.

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Send comments to TomLucas (BETA) | Report this review (#862478)
Posted Monday, November 19, 2012 | Review Permalink
AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Symphonic Team
4 stars After hearing Disconnect's 2010 debut "Radio Hostile" I was curious as to the direction that the band had travelled over the years. The lead guitar work of Erich O'Dell really shines, and he is also very good on bass, keyboards, and vocals. He is joined by Brian Eschrich who keeps things pumping on percussion and synths. As a duo the band are accomplished musicians though one wonders how they would perform live with all the over dubbing and multi tracking or studio trickery. The duo record from different locations so it is feasible that they would never perform live anyway. The vocals are great, sounding a bit like Roger Waters' style or Neal Morse in places.

This latest 2012 album "Enough Blame to Go Around" is a very well developed musical journey, that delves deep into the very serious topic of what really happened on September 11th when the Twin Towers were demolished by plane collisions. It is a topic that has sparked a myriad of conspiracies and Disconnect explore some of these in their lyrics. The album cover took me by surprise as I did not even notice the enigmatic falling man image almost subliminally seen in the centre. The infamous image is one that has led to the "Falling Man" documentary where many people jumped to their deaths when they knew the building was going to collapse. It is a potent image and the music on the album seems to echo with empathy towards the victims.

'Adventures in Taxidermy' gets things rolling with an ambient though unsettling soundscape, and then a phased guitar with a riff sounding similar to Beethoven's famous Symphony No. 5 intro. It launches into a simple guitar riff and some processed vocals, though I prefer Erich's vice without the effects vocoder. The track builds inexorably to a powerful lead break over a broken progressive signature. This is a heavier track with a ton of distortion, though maintains clean guitar modulation and picking in the Robert Fripp style. I like the deep bass tones on the ending and the staccato piano flourishes, giving it an atonal resonance. 'Inside Job' is a powerful instrumental dominated by guitar prowess and brilliant keyboards. It has a driving beat that locks in and some outbreaks of guitar finesse. The rhythm reminds me of King Crimson, clear influences on the album. It is akin to parts of "Larks' Tongues In Aspic" and the "Discipline" era. It is terrific how it builds with synth pads and ascending guitar phrases. The fractured time sig is more progressive than the Crossover genre will often allow, and perhaps this is the band's most progressive and creative album, particularly in terms of utilising progressive elements. Although parts are not consolidated or juxtaposed together well, somehow it still maintains interest and I would suggest that this instrumental is an outstanding composition that brings together a plethora of ideas in to the mix.

'Falling Man' has a prominent news broadcast about the 9/11 tragedy, one that I had not heard so I did not know of its legitimacy or not. It certainly leaps out of the speakers when the sirens resound and those words are heard from a collage of many broadcasts over a Middle Eastern musical figure; "we have something that has happened here at the World Trade Centre, terrorist alert planes crashing into the tower, there is smoke billowing and covering all of the smaller skyscrapers, there are people jumping out the windows!" Once the guitar riff locks in we hear some vocals and a King Crimson polyphonic time sig similar to the Crims 80s era. The very strong synths that are heard are mesmirising and then a blistering wah-wah lead break dominates. The vocals sung are rather potent; "As I look around the world, shoulda known this would come, you may not like our voice, but at least we have a choice." This leads to soaring lead guitar and a crunching riff, and then another verse voicing the hopelessness of the situation; "as I look from my tower." The next section leads to a rather surprising Eastern guitar rhythm, with Iraqi flavours. The lead guitarwork is phenomenal in the next segment at 10 minutes in. One may be reminded of 80s era Rush in the section at 11:10 with the jangly riff and soaring lead work. This masterful track is easily the best song on the album.

I had my ears peeled throughout the album for other lyrical hints as to what happened or what is speculated to have happened on that fateful day. I was also quite taken back as to the musical structures throughout the album, at times sounding like Spock's Beard or as complex as King Crimson. Much of this is elongated instrumentals that have nice melodies and some odd time signatures to keep things flowing. It takes a while to grow on the ear but certain sections are unforgettable. I love the musical break on 'Falling Man' for instance, and there is a very assertive time sig on 'Sufficient'. The main hypnotic motif of 'Sufficient' is very effective, oddly off kilter and with some well executed vocals with a distinctive Spock's Beard sound. The reverb electric piano works well, and it leads to a very strong instrumental passage, with dark bass and drum crunches, a towering lead break and relentless spacey synth washes. At 4:15 it gets atmospheric with ethereal whispers and reverberating synth. It explodes into a faster tempo and exceptional lead solo over polyrhythmic figures.

The final track is a mammoth epic, 'Twisting the Knife', beginning with an ominous drone and ivory tickling as a guitar chimes. There is the sound of waves crashing and an intoxicating Pink Floyd guitar sound. A guitar and piano riff enters and more processed vox in the same vein as Porcupine Tree's 'Radioactive Toy'. It moves into a faster and irregular time sig, with more Crimson punctuated guitar rhythms. Edrich sings; "You're out of your league, making best of what's left, unexpected chance, far convenient romance, anxious days, endless night, what's meant to be, passes us by." The time sigs switch often as does the vocal style, and more Pink Floyd style verses are heard similar to the melodies in 'Time'. The wah-wah lead break and rhythm in the instrumental is akin to the music on Pink Floyd's "Animals", such as 'Pigs', as is the echo vocal style. With all these influences emerging it is hard to latch onto the band's definitive sound, but it seems to be divided between the melodies of Spock's Beard, the vocals and guitar work of Porcupine Tree and Pink Floyd, and utilising the polyrhythms of King Crimson. I must admit the peaceful guitar solo at 9 minutes is nice and bluesy creating a gentle atmosphere. It motorvates along for a while until the whole song changes at 14:00 with some nice industrial rhythms and it sounds more like Porcupine Tree at this point. It ends with fret melting lead guitar work featuring a flurry of sustained string bends and fast arpeggios and hammer ons.

There are only 5 songs but some are of considerable length such as the 3 epics 'Adventures in Taxidermy' (12:00), 'Falling Man' (17:32) and 'Twisting the Knife' (18:44). Overall, "Enough Blame to Go Around" is a vast improvement over the debut and is well worth a listen for anyone who is not too discerning and likes their prog served up chilled with melodic flavours and simmering with atmospheric lengthy instrumentals.

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Send comments to AtomicCrimsonRush (BETA) | Report this review (#873399)
Posted Saturday, December 08, 2012 | Review Permalink
4 stars Disconnect "Enough Blame To Go Around" 7/10

This album starts right away with the cover art. It was pointed out to me by friend, Conor Fynes, that the cover art depicts a famous photograph that goes all to well with the theme of the album, Enough Blame To Go Around; The tragic events of September 11, 2001 are woven in emotions into the look, sound and feel of the album, which begins with the famous "Falling Man" photograph from the day of horror and desperation.

As noted by many other reviewers, the name, Disconnect, originates from the distance between the artists Erich O'Dell and Brian Eschrich, who require the wonders of internet to collaborate on their work. The result this time is the enjoyable "Enough Blame To Go Around", an album displaying the emotions and thoughts brought on by the tragic events of September 11, 2001 in New York City.

The music found on this LP is very well done, noticeable on the first track "Adventures in Taxidermy" right away. On this, King Crimson influences are certainly noticeable, bringing a definite enjoyment in listening to the album. The music writing and editing is done so well, and I found myself almost lost by the beautiful sounds brought forth by the melodies and fantastic layering. "Inside Job" is a great example of this greatness; I really love all that the instruments have to offer in this specific piece. Everything is done incredibly well here, and it causes great anticipation for the rest of the album.

One element that is certainly noticeable in the music, is the mood. Rightfully so, this album holds on to some intense and deep mood brought forth by the inspiration of 9/11, Though I am not familiar with previous Disconnect work, the music here certainly displays how inspired these gentlemen were in the creation of this somber LP. "Falling Man" especially begins with a heavy dark mood following a 9/11 news report, which is more than enjoyable. Dark atmosphere is music is something I find I really appreciate.

The symbolism and meaning of the song titles and certainly parts and elements found in Enough Blame To Go Around is incredible. The writing is certainly done well, and this LP has been well composed. A quick example of this is in the song "Falling Man", which, around the 9:11 mark, changes tone and attitude into an awesome section of flamenco- esque guitar. Really enjoyable, definitely intended, and certainly symbolic.

Enough Blame To Go Around is certainly an album I enjoyed, and I will be looking at more of Disconnect's work because of this. Everything is well done this album, and although I am not a huge fan of the singing in some songs, I really loved the instrumental work. The album finished incredibly well with the track "Twisting The Knife" which holds the all important role of the finishing song. It does its job very well, and leaves the listener feeling the emotions the album set out to display. Excellent album, fantastic work.

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Send comments to IcedPorcupine (BETA) | Report this review (#888241)
Posted Saturday, January 05, 2013 | Review Permalink
5 stars Upon first listen I had kind of a tepid opinion of this album, yet I heard enough hooks to keep me coming back for additional listens. Each time I found something new that I liked of each song. There's much to appreciate here - fine musicianship, thoughtful lyrics, intense moods and atmospheres. The vocals can take a while to get used to, but now after several listens I find myself enjoying the vocals too. There are two epic tracks on here, the first of which is Falling Man which is a wild ride. Love the middle eastern influences in the guitar work as well as the drums & percussion. Almost as impressive is the closing track Twisting The Knife which is perhaps my favorite on the album. Again the guitar work here is quite impressive, calling to mind David Gilmour and at times Roine Stolte. Lovely work on mixing and production, impressive job by an indie band.

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Send comments to williedawg (BETA) | Report this review (#931171)
Posted Saturday, March 16, 2013 | Review Permalink
4 stars Not crossover prog. More like heavy prog with King Crimson overtones. Two middle-aged guys in a studio. This is their, perhaps, most complex work, for hardcore proggers, those who like the rock side of the equation, but not totally inaccessible.

Just five songs. Three 10-minute numbers and two 18-minutes. The "shorter" tracks are all dark and somewhat repetitive. The longer ones allow for more variety, including sensibility for pop melodies. Falling Man is more coherent than Twisting the Knife.

Erich O'Dell, who does everything but the drums, actually displays broad range of guitar techniques - from minimalistic to shredding and "traditional", with Spanish and Arabic tones. What he was not meant to do, however, is sing. He knows the theory of melodic singing, but this just wasn't God's plan for him, I guess.

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Send comments to Progrussia (BETA) | Report this review (#1057665)
Posted Thursday, October 10, 2013 | Review Permalink

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