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4 FRONT

Jazz Rock/Fusion • United States


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4 Front biography
Imagine the ebullience of RUSH, ELP and DREAM THEATER injected with fiery jazz fusion laid out over some powerful melodies, and you'll have a good idea of what 4 FRONT sound like. They are an American trio of highly skilled musicians with impressive credentials: HAPPY THE MAN's very own drummer Joe Bergamini; guitarist-keyboardist Zak Rizvi and bassist Frank LaPlaca who have performed together for over a decade with US's premier RUSH tribute band POWER WINDOWS - LaPlaca also played with NYC rock acts ETERNAL VISION and The BUDDHA BRAINS. Under the name of 4 FRONT, they have toured extensively in the Eastern US and in Puerto Rico, opening shows for SAGA, MARILLION and KANSAS. Their material is strictly instrumental.

Rather than showing off their respective technical skills (which they'd have every reason to do), all members thankfully chose taste over self-indulgence, giving us some intelligent and mighty powerful prog that is much more than the mere sum of its elements. Take your pick from their three albums - recorded from 1996 to 2001 - and you'll alternately hear RUSH, ELP and DT plus hints of SPOCK'S BEARD, MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA and RETURN TO FOREVER as well as some Billy Joel, THE POLICE, Joe Jackson and THE DIXIE DREGS - even a little classical touch of Copland and Rachmaninoff. Extremely catchy, highly original, complex yet accessible, their material has an almost 'cinematic feel': it crackles with energy and passion yet never looses sight of intelligible hooks and melodies. The huge production, sophisticated compositions, surreal keyboards, searing guitars, intense drumming and fluid, melodic bass all make for some dynamic, ass-kicking melodic prog-fusion that can't be compared to anything.

If you ever wished bands like RUSH or DREAM THEATER dared venture into the next dimension, quickly get your hands on all of three of these albums. Hot stuff!

: : : Lise (HIBOU), CANADA : : :

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4 FRONT discography


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4 FRONT top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.96 | 5 ratings
Arrival
1996
4.12 | 22 ratings
Gravity
1998
3.38 | 8 ratings
Radio Waves Goodbye
2001
3.73 | 11 ratings
Malice In Wonderland
2012

4 FRONT Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

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4 FRONT Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

4 FRONT Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Arrival by 4 FRONT album cover Studio Album, 1996
3.96 | 5 ratings

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Arrival
4 Front Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

4 stars FRONT's formation can be considered rather as an incident of pure luck.Drummer Joe Bergamini was working by mid 90's on a new drumming book,that should be accompanied by a CD filled with some tracks for the students.For this purpose he asked guitarist Zak Rizvi and bassist Frank LaPlaca for some help.The result of these sessions was the formation of 4 FRONT...and personally I feel very lucky to have listened to such a talented trio.4 FRONT mix the energetic and dynamic heavy progressive rock of RUSH with an evident fusion mood and great interplays.From the catchy guitar riffs and the GARY MOORE-like blues passages to the symhonic piano work and the groovy bass lines,this album is overfilled with virtuosity,originality and energy that you simply should not miss.A must-have for lovers of inspired instrumental adventures!

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 Gravity by 4 FRONT album cover Studio Album, 1998
4.12 | 22 ratings

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Gravity
4 Front Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by ointmentman

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.

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 Gravity by 4 FRONT album cover Studio Album, 1998
4.12 | 22 ratings

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Gravity
4 Front Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Squire Jaco

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.

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 Gravity by 4 FRONT album cover Studio Album, 1998
4.12 | 22 ratings

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Gravity
4 Front Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by slack4justice

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.

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