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KOPECKY

Kopecky

Heavy Prog


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4 stars Let's see. The debut album from this Wisconsin trio of brothers. I've read in "Expose" that their demos have been praised one after another, so we can listen what they have on this first production.

Kopecky is a Hard/Rock prog band with prominent Mid-Eastern influences. In each song you can feel a Hindu/Arab-ish atmosphere, mostly driven by bassist Paul Kopecky, helped by mean guitar and/or ethnic and very rhythmic drumming of William Kopecky, and tied sometimes by soothing keyboards that accentuates the ethnic feeling.

They sometimes turn on the Metal influence, like in "Sky-Blue Hair", "The Drowning Waters", "The Rise and Fall of Stella Morbida" and "Autumn Swirl" in which guitarist Joe Kopecky gives a more powerful edge to the music in spite of the otherwise calm atmosphere produced by the bass or sitar.

One of the highlights is "Sukha" appears a sitar, which shows that this instrument can give an entrancing feeling while keeping up with the heaviness of the other member's energy.

"Yama" is one of the best songs, combining a sitar intro, heavy influenced Eastern bass line, passing into some heavy guitar parts, only to finish in a chorus of psych synths.

"Birdsong the Color of Pyramids" is the only "sung" piece in the album, the lyrics are recited, it has a short lenght but it's by far the most Mid-Eastern influenced song of the album.

"Al-Aaraaf" is the longest song, as the name implies, there's bound to be a lot of ethnic feeling, and you can confirm from the beggining of the song and it's in par with "Birdsongs". Evn the guitar work helps push the strange psychness to new levels.

I only miss the lack of a "long epic" or even a faster song, even though the band has proved the have the energy, talent and creativity to make great music.

Recommended for those who are begginig into prog or old fans that want something new.

Final Veredict: 4 stars. Excellent addition to any prog music collection.

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Send comments to RavenDarkmoon (BETA) | Report this review (#56461)
Posted Tuesday, November 15, 2005 | Review Permalink
hdfisch
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Kopecky - Could this brotherhood be called Wisconsin's answer to KC's Projekct Two-line-up? Not only the title of first track on their debut here would assume this obvious comparison. But anyway KC is KC and Kopecky is Kopecky! And these guys have definitely their very self-contained style and their sound is absolutely captivating and haunting. What we get to listen here is an extremely thick bass sound, floating melody lines and metal-like effect-laden guitar playing. But that's by far not the only influence to be detected here on their debut album. I can hear as well hints to Jarzombek's crunchy guitar work with SPASTIC INK or Levin's bass work with LTE. Did I mention already that this is an almost pure instrumental work (apart from "Birdsong The Color Of Pyramids" featuring spoken words)? And actually the music here is that much intricate and technically well-done (without showing any self-indulgent high-speed riffing) that a vocalist isn't really missed. Joe K.'s guitar play is usually sounding quite metallic but as well delicate and soaring at times and the general mood is kept mostly at the darker edge. Nevertheless the emphasis here is always more to prog than to metal. Brother William adds apart from his intense fretless bass playing some stunning sitar providing a nice mid-eastern flavour as well some keyboards every now and then. Not forgetting to mention third brother Paul whose drumming sounds refreshing and very creative. Sometimes this record has really ambient and atmospheric moments like the final track "Al-Aaraaf" sending the listener on a sonic travelling.

This is a very remarkable debut from a band I'd like to recommend highly to any lover of instrumental prog and intricate bass-dominated music, i.e. Tony Levin, Trey Gunn, California Guitar Trio or the bands mentioned above.Though giving this album 4 stars (which it deserves IMO) maybe I should emphasise as well that this type of music might not appeal to any convential prog fan especially those addicted to pompous keyboards usage. Anyway for all fellows (like me) looking for something quite different from the good old classical prog this band might be a good option.

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Send comments to hdfisch (BETA) | Report this review (#84696)
Posted Monday, July 24, 2006 | Review Permalink
kev rowland
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Crossover Team
4 stars I hear a great deal of progressive rock, much more than the normal punter, and while I may get excited from time to time it is rare that anything new, or 'progressive', ever reaches my ears. So when I first started listening to this instrumental CD, which had arrived from the States, I found that I was intrigued, which in turn made way for me to being totally focussed on what I was hearing. Kopecky are a trio of brothers with Joe on guitar/tambourine, Paul on percussion and William on bass, sitar and keyboards. Any of these instruments can take on the lead role, with the fretless bass being especially effective.

But while on some numbers they are almost traditional, with rock themes being the basis for the melody (which moves and melds in glorious ways), on others they sound as if they have come straight out of the East. The use of sitar, combined with complementary percussion gives the music an otherworldly exotic feel. Apparently William's teacher, Veena Chandra, is a grand- disciple of Ravi Shankar. But, the sitar is an integral part of a rock band, not Indian-style music in its' own right. On "Sukha", while William plays a melody Joe is hard at work either emulating it or taking the music in a different direction altogether.

For an instrumental album to fully hold the attention of the listener throughout its' length it must be something special indeed, and I for one feel that my musical experience has been broadened by listening to this album.

Feedback #58, May 2000

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Send comments to kev rowland (BETA) | Report this review (#145879)
Posted Friday, October 19, 2007 | Review Permalink

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