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4 Front - Gravity CD (album) cover


4 Front

Jazz Rock/Fusion

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4 stars The description for 4 Front is correct, it's like a mixture of Rush, E.L.P. and Dream Theater. It's fiery, upbeat fusion infused with a lot of chops. There are a lot of cool melodies in this album, and there is much distinction between the songs. Cool thing is, it doesn't get boring because they're all solid-musicians, the solos are tasteful and the compositions are more than decent. Gravity can appeal to a lot of people, it's complex yet accessible, it sounds like Dream Theater toned down a bit with less "wanking" as people like to say, and more compositional structure. It also sounds like a more eclectic Rush, a lot of different sounds are on the album, a bit of loungy jazz, smooth jazz, hard rock, metal. They're a very chemical group, they seem to be running on the same juice. The entire album is solid, the players are solid, the solos are solid, and the compositions are solid. There are a lot of cool things to be found on Gravity, and I hope you give it a try. It's not essential, but it's got something for everybody.
Report this review (#38256)
Posted Saturday, July 2, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars Would you care to listen to some all-instrumental Rush for about 65 minutes? (That's a rhetorical question, by the way.) Wow! These guys are entertaining. 4Front is Joe Bergamini on drums, Frank LaPlaca on bass, and Zak Rizvi on guitars and keyboards (along with the occasional guest keyboardist, etc.). They used to tour as a group called Power Windows doing mostly Rush covers...and it certainly shows up in the first half of this cd especially. Neal Peart is probably better on drums (he IS one of the best!), but Bergamini is dynamite too. Rizvi uses a lot of Lifeson's signature chords (arpeggiated ninths?) and some high distortion, but he also sounds like Steve Morse at times. LaPlaca has a couple of bass highlights that suggest he's even better than Geddy Lee, though his bass isn't as trebly as Lee's.

"Gravity" is a great cd - I can't hold the obvious Rush similitudes against them (though they did lose half a star for originality). Fourteen songs mostly in the 4 to 5 minute range - good songwriting, primarily from Rizvi. The last few songs of the cd evolve a little bit more into the kind of eclectic, cinematic music that their next cd "Radio Waves Goodbye" would feature more extensively. But this whole cd is very energetic and satisfying. Recommended.

Report this review (#119845)
Posted Thursday, April 26, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars There Are alot of fusion bands out there with a similar sound to 4front, However 4front seems to do fusion more justice as a rock influence than as a jazz crossover. The melodies of jass based chords are evident in songs like the Front or Space and Time wheras those songs are heavily intertwined with a steady rock sensibillity. In other songs, such as prelude or interlude, a classical influence can be felt, With long scale arpeggios and a very rigid structure. The remaider seems to fall into different influences, turbulence for example, has a Latin groove about the piece, And Ultraviolence follows the standards of A true Hyperthecnical prog masterpiece. I recommend this album to fans of Liquid Tension Experiment and 7 for 4. Otherwise, fans of fusion, this album is an essential fusion masterpiece.
Report this review (#162377)
Posted Friday, February 22, 2008 | Review Permalink

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