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Trioscapes - Separate Realities CD (album) cover

SEPARATE REALITIES

Trioscapes

Jazz Rock/Fusion


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Evolver
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Crossover & JazzRock/Fusion Teams
4 stars Trioscapes is one of the hottest new fusion groups that I've heard recently. Despite consisting of only a drummer, a flute/saxophone player and a bassist, this band a completely full fusion sound. They have the punk aggression of Paranoise, the wild experimentalism of Nick Didkovsky's Doctor Nerve, and the technical chops of some of fusions greatest stars.

The majority of the songs are made up of wild rhythm tracks laid down by the drummer, Matt Lynch and bassist Dan Briggs, with Walter Fancourt soloing overhead. Occasionally, there are overdubs, and at times Briggs solos on the higher notes on his bass, sounding almost like an electric guitar.

The result is both dangerous and exciting, and a sure fire member of my summer cruising rotation.

Oh, and the final track on the album appears to be an homage to the 1980's lineup of King Crimson. With the weaving of bass and sax, and sustained high bass notes imitating Fripp's soaring guitar, it's another treat.

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Send comments to Evolver (BETA) | Report this review (#766610)
Posted Thursday, June 07, 2012 | Review Permalink
aapatsos
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Prog Metal and Heavy Prog Teams
4 stars Heavy, heavy, heavy fusion...

I was not surprised when this band was proposed for an addition to progressive metal; everything else is there, apart from the guitars! The trio of Briggs, Lynch and Fancourt deliver lessons on heavy progressive fusion based on a solid rhythm section and a talented saxophonist.

Here you can find anything from dynamic "blasts" of saxophone over an ever-changing, in tempos and moods, rhythm section (opening track), to free jazz patterns (Wazzlejazzlebof), and from mysterious atmospheres and oriental sounds (title track) to dark experimental passages a la King Crimson (Gemini's Descent). The band also take on Mahavishnu's ''Celestial Terrestrial Commuters'' and take it to another level, adding further improvisation.

The spotless, clear production adds extra points to the end result. There is a nice balance between straightforward improvisation (Fancourt on the leading role with the other two usually supporting) and more mellow and experimental passages, and this mixture makes the album more ''listenable'' and enjoyable, especially to those that are not fully trained in the arts of fusion (including myself). Worth of mention is the bass playing approach, which changes freely from ''slapping'' to heavy distortion, adding to this more ''metallic'' feeling. The influences from Rush (!) and King Crimson are those that do the trick for me, as does the use of some ''spacey'' themes here and there.

This is a great piece of musicianship and certainly among the highlights of the year; it should definitely appeal to fusion fans but also to prog metal/metal fusion (Panzerballet anyone?) followers.

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Send comments to aapatsos (BETA) | Report this review (#792061)
Posted Saturday, July 21, 2012 | Review Permalink
3 stars Yes, on Separate Realities one can indeed hear quite a bit of heavy fusion and a whole lot of the "influence" by Mahavishnu Orchestra and King Crimson of a certain era.

Apart from these, I didn't hear much of anything else that would have made my ears prick up. I did notice lengthy passages that felt like John McLaughlin's outtakes; then there would be a few minutes of what sounded like post-Red Robert Fripp's exploits.

To sum up the experience ..

POSITIVES: No crude mistakes. An impressive wall of well-textured sound, for a trio. Adequate engineering. No irritating vocals :)

NEGATIVES: Too noisy and ear-heavy; not flamboyant enough for proper fusion. None of the musicians stands out. No real innovation, only a narrow range of recycled musical ideas from very long ago.

I'd give this album two stars only, but I must distinguish it somehow from let's say iamthemorning with its syrupy new age-y ethos and squeaky vocals (who I did give two stars). So, I will have to round it up to 3 stars.

.

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Send comments to Argonaught (BETA) | Report this review (#1006952)
Posted Saturday, July 27, 2013 | Review Permalink
apps79
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Neo Prog Team
3 stars Trioscapes were born during the summer of 2011 out of a session, when bassist Dan Briggs from the Alternative Metal band Between the Buried and Me invited sax/flute player Walter Fancourt and drummer Matt Lynch to jam on Mahavishnu Orchestra's ''Celestial terrestrial commuters''.Eventually the chemistry was there to move the trio into a more professional level and by October 2011 they had traveled to Winston-Salem to record their debut ''Separate realities'', after having composed a nice collection of instrumental tracks.The album was released in May 2012 on Metal Blade, while their is also a vinyl version out on Hodweed & Fugue Records.

Trioscapes just prooved that you don't have to include a guitarist in the line-up to come up with impressive, powerful and dense instrumental music.Full-front bass lines and passionate jazzy drum patterns support Fancourt's intense, scratching sax plays, while Lynch is also responsible for quite a few electronic samplers heard in the album.Influences include KING CRIMSON, RETURN TO FOREVER, MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA, maybe with a more technical approach as proposed by DON CABALLERO.The music is always complex and rich with a great amount of tempo changes, but the atmosphere is not always dark and haunting as you may expect, the three guys have thrown in some more tricky and enjoyable tunes for a more balanced and consistent sound.Lots of dynamic rhythms, plenty of twists and turns and a fair dose of sax soloing lead this work with a certain piece (''Gemini's descent'') highlighted by Francourt's dreamy and elegant flute work, coming in full contrast with the power of the rhythm section and reminding a bit of a Kraut Rock act.Otherwise be sure to face an intricate and compelling trip into the world of Prog Fusion with major technical exhibitions, but also some very tight and confident executions.

Nice little surprise by a trio with no guitarist, which managed to come up with an energetic and bombastic Fusion debut.Strongly recommended, especially, if you love the more technical side of instrumental Prog Rock...3.5 stars.

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Send comments to apps79 (BETA) | Report this review (#1315879)
Posted Thursday, November 27, 2014 | Review Permalink

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