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Project: Patchwork - Re|Flection CD (album) cover


Project: Patchwork

Crossover Prog

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kev rowland
Honorary Reviewer
4 stars Project: Patchwork is a studio project that has been put together by two German musicians, Gerd Albers and Peter Koll, along with the odd friend. This is the second album, and this time they have used less personnel than on the debut, so only 22 additional players and singers this time round. I noted that this had been recorded by Marek Arnold, Martin Schnella and Peter Koll, and given that the first two are bandmates in a few different outfits, it is not surprising that we have a polished outcome (Marek also mixed the album). A quick glance through the names involved and I spotted John Mitchell (on the road with Arena as I write this) and Melanie Mau, who most recently has been involved with Martin and Marek on the Art Rock Project ('Stay' is still my single favourite song of the year to date).

With so many different musicians and voices it is often hard to provide an album that doesn't come across as a hotchpotch of styles, let alone a patchwork, but somehow this has been pulled together into something that is incredibly melodic. I have been fortunate to hear most of Marek's work recently, and I can hear that he has had a major part to play in the arrangements and the way that the album has come out in the end. This is a polished piece of work that fans of Flaming Row and Seven Steps to the Green Door will be looking out for. There is a strong piano base at times, with good keyboards and guitars which allow the singers to be full of confidence. Listening to this has made me realise that I am yet to write a review for the debut, and that I really need to set to and give it some serious listening, as after hearing this I want to find out more. Melodic progressive rock with strong guitars and great vocals, this is a delight.

Report this review (#1932765)
Posted Sunday, May 20, 2018 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars German venture PROJECT: PATCHWORK is the creative vehicle of composer and musician Gerd Albers. Following many years of work he released his debut album as Project: Patchwork in 2015, aided by a score of fellow musicians. Three years later we find this project signed to German label Progressive Promotion Records, who released the second album by this venture in the first half of 2018.

This is a venture I regard as one still in development, but it is developing nicely and to the point of now having the qualities needed to possibly entice a larger crowd. If you tend to enjoy music of the kind that resides on the borders between hard rock, progressive rock and folk music, Project: Patchwork's second album is one that merits an inspection. A few levels shy of the quality of the Ayreon's of this world, but a good and diverse album.

Report this review (#1934349)
Posted Sunday, May 27, 2018 | Review Permalink
3 stars Gerd Albers and Peter Koll released 'Tales of a Hidden Dream' in 2015 and continue with 'Reflection'. A reflection on the world in which we live, so a lot of questions! From this album 20, I say twenty singers, musicians have come together to finalize this disc after 8 years and 3 recording studios, in other words we could expect small well shaped pearls!

The personal result is rather mixed with neo-prog advances, stratospheric guitar flights, synths that are a little too withdrawn, well-made breaks with piano and sax worthy of a SUPERTRAMP and crescendos that are too sluggish, too conventional and especially too great inequalities between each title!

At the musician level, the fact of quoting members of SEVEN STEPS, FROST, ARENA, FLAMING ROW, SUBSIGNAL, TOXIC SMILE gives the opening to a proven musical potential. What about on the turntable? A colorful musical melting pot with very good instruments, a plus on guitar and sax and slightly offbeat vocals with female voices la MOSTLY AUTUMN and especially AYREON. Male voices that are not singular enough and too linear. I would say that takes away some of the charm of the titles. In short, I'm not going to dissect this album by targeting such a sax or guitar solo at such a moment that made me think of...!! Or such a song with its break worthy of such a group that made me go to the lands of PROG! Because if I tackle it, I will make you imagine that this concept sails on the sounds of the 70s, 80s with a little of the 90s and 2000s and that we get lost in it a little like that!

No, I'm going to play the game of warning you that this concept album, there is none for me, but only reminiscences of sounds of the aforementioned groups, there we find them in each title! That the voices prevent you from really diving (really my negative point for this album with too many changes which lead to discontinuity over time even if I "heard" Peter GABRIEL at a moment!!). But only the instrumental atmospheres (ah that sax in the intro of "Worried Citizens"!!, that clarinet on "Fear of Loss" and her Genesis voice!, those riffs on "First Disorder" and "Inferno" and that flute on "Struggle and Agony" interspersed with almost prog metal riffs are worth a second listen! That the little musical ballad "Last Horizons" is well worth one of AYREON and that the last two titles are eyeing squarely towards a structure ... of AYREON stronger!

In the end, I would say that if we expected a concept, we will be disappointed! If we were expecting prog, folk, metal or symphonic flights, we will get our money's worth and our time's worth! That this CD gives pride of place to reflection as other concepts have done long before this realization! But let's give more to the riffs, the sax break, the voice of the three guests and a very good quality recording!

Report this review (#2741248)
Posted Monday, May 2, 2022 | Review Permalink

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