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SYNAPSE

Message

Psychedelic/Space Rock


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Progbear
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars My vote for best Message album. Their earlier output lacked distinction, here they expound on the jazzy tendencies first explored on their prior, self-titled release. With a combination of compelling rhythms, first rate compositions and strong playing, Message come up with a winner this time. Murdoch continues his quirky experiments with vibrato-tremolo heavy guitar sound. It adds much of the needed distinction to the whole affair. And there's a greater sense of exploration this time round, making it all feel more "progressive".

This particular album reminded me of perhaps a less quirky, more linear version of Kraan. I think a lot of their audience would enjoy this release too. Cool cover art as well. Recommended, if you can find it.

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Send comments to Progbear (BETA) | Report this review (#45682)
Posted Monday, September 05, 2005 | Review Permalink
historian9
FORUM & SITE ADMIN GROUP
Site Admin / JRF Team
4 stars Fourth album by British/German MESSAGE, it took me quite some time to get this one. It's a bit surprising since I think this was still in their best period, actually this one was supposed to be last album worth seeking out, didn't think it was gonna be so rare with reviews.

Just seeing the nice cover art itself raised my expectations, and hoping that music would reflect that surreal image. The opener "Fred The Head" opens with very spacey or etheral sounds on guitar (reminding of the intro of "And You And I" by YES) but soon saxes kick in to give it a more original atmosphere. This theme of sorts is so good it actually repeats itself in another song later on "To Live Again". The album is basically further exploration of jazzy influences on the previous album, but still retaining some commercial side to the whole thing. I'm not an expert on JFR genre but I think some of it, like the song "Triangle" might be close to fusion, and especially the 7 minute long "The Sailor And The Flyer". Of other tracks, "To Live Again" is a good vocal oriented song with the similar sax theme from "Fred The Head", and I think "Chessmen" and "Destruction" is loudest they get but nothing like hard rock of previous albums. Personally, the tracks I could do without is "Volcanoes Under The Sun" as well as the closing instrumental number "Pharaoh's Leg" which is a very dull and repetitive guitar and sax interplay stretched to 3 minutes. Pretty dark as well and not as upbeat as the rest of the album.

This is the album that distanced them the most from their beginnings as a NEKTAR sounding band, and it would have been great if they continued to explore this new direction, because I think as a transitional album it would lead to great things. Personally I don't think it's the best album they did , but excellent record nonetheless.

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Send comments to historian9 (BETA) | Report this review (#659177)
Posted Wednesday, March 14, 2012 | Review Permalink

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