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FROM.UZ

Eclectic Prog • Uzbekistan


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From.uz biography
FROMUZ was formed in the summer of 2004 in the city of Tashkent.

The band's history is very simple. Session guitarist, Vitaly Popeloff, and his buddy, bass player (and novice producer), Andrew Mara-Novik, decided to play music together. They wanted to compose music that would bring the greatest pleasure to themselves, which could help to splash out emotions, to express their ideas and feelings.

The first experiments, with just two of them playing, did not suit their expectations. However, the search for like-minded people did not take too much time. Old friends, such as drummer, Vladimir Badirov, and composer/arranger (and actor), Albert Khalmurzayev (keyboards), came to support the new project. Everyone had his own experience, own taste and zeal, a personal vision of the world. The common connection was a sincere love of complex music, with high demands towards creativity and performance. The band agreed that the music would be instrumental and come from the heart, without aim for commercial viability. Their goal was to raise the level of quality of instrumental music. This only confirmed their wish to continue their collaboration. This is the birth of the band. It was through this experience (and experiment) that Fromuz has gauged their music against an audience in their homeland. Now, they are ready to share their music with audiences outside Uzbekistan, ready for other stages and the next step.

There is no individual author or leader in the group. Each composition is born with common efforts, by the method of attempts and experiments, by the flight of fancy and emotions. May be this is the reason why there are a few themes in each composition, tempo and rhythm fluctuating unpredictably. Frequently the compositions sound not only rich, but also complex in their structure. The band delves into anything from Jazz Rock/Fusion to Symphonic rock with ease sometimes within the same composition.The initial Release, Audio Diplomacy was released from 10T records in early 2007.





Why this artist must be listed in www.progarchives.com :
The Fromuz are highly skilled musicians creating some of the most unique prog in this decade. Any fans of Fusion but also those of instrumental Symphonic would enjoy this music.





Discography:
Audio Diplomacy, Live CD/DVD (2007)

From.uz official website

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Buy FROM.UZ Music


Quartus Artifactus (2 CD/1 DVD set)Quartus Artifactus (2 CD/1 DVD set)
10T Records 2011
Audio CD$10.88
$18.73 (used)
Audio DiplomacyAudio Diplomacy
CD+DVD
10T Records 2007
Audio CD$8.99
$8.54 (used)
Seventh StorySeventh Story
10T Records 2010
Audio CD$11.52
$22.12 (used)
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FROM.UZ discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

FROM.UZ top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.89 | 94 ratings
Overlook
2008
3.56 | 65 ratings
Seventh Story
2010
3.87 | 95 ratings
Quartus Artifactus
2011
3.94 | 90 ratings
Sodom & Gomorrah
2013

FROM.UZ Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.49 | 45 ratings
Audio Diplomacy
2007

FROM.UZ Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.83 | 10 ratings
Playing The Imitation
2005
3.09 | 4 ratings
Inside Seventh Story
2010

FROM.UZ Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

FROM.UZ Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.54 | 3 ratings
No More...
2011

FROM.UZ Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Sodom & Gomorrah by FROM.UZ album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.94 | 90 ratings

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Sodom & Gomorrah
From.uz Eclectic Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Uzbekistan band FROMUZ first appeared as recoding artists back in 2005 with the DVD "Playing the Imitation", and have been an active band unit ever since with a further DVD, a live CD and four studio albums to their name since then. "Sodom and Gomorrah" is their most recent production, and was released through the US label 10t Records in the fall of 2013.

FromUz is a band that have managed to intrigue me with all the material they have released to date, and "Sodom and Gomorrah" is no exception there. While the songs, or parts if you like, all are fairly short in length, there's still plenty of developments alongside minor and major shifts in intensity and expression to wrap your head around. The emphasis is symphonic progressive rock, flavored with careful dramatic and soundtrack oriented effects, with a select few Pink Floyd oriented passages perhaps underlining the slight emphasis on atmosphere on this production. And an album well worth lending your ear to if that sounds like a compelling blend.

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 Overlook by FROM.UZ album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.89 | 94 ratings

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Overlook
From.uz Eclectic Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars Just a month after ''Audio Diplomacy'' saw the light, Fromuz were among the bands to perform at the 2007 Baja Prog Festival in Mexico next to monster artists and acts such as Focus, Universe Zero and Jordan Rudess.The rest of the year they focused on writing new material and gig around the countries of former Soviet Union.The new album ''Overlook'' was eventually released on 10T Records in October 2008, recorded in three different studios, having Andrew Mara-Novik as the main producer and guitarist Vitaly Popeloff as the main composer.

With ''Overlook'' Fromuz move stylistically to another level, the one that includes only long, epic compositions with plenty of different movements.The album consists of five tracks with a length around 70 minutes, the shortest piece clocking at 11 minutes.Soundwise Fromuz haven't changed many things.Their music is a heavier edition of Progressive Fusion with orchestral and jazzy textures, quite complex, fascinating and technically efficient, featuring endless tempo changes, dense interplays and bombastic grooves.They borrow the improvisation of Jazz, the power of Heavy Rock and the virtuosity of Progressive Rock to offer an all instrumental amalgam full of changing climates and various soundscapes.Instrumentally the basic elements are Popeloff's jazzy solos and angular riffs, the highly technical rhythm section of Mara-Novik and Badirov and the modern keyboard lines of Albert Khalmurzayev with both flashy and more symphonic waves.The music is extremely tight with a nice balance between excessive soloing and structures themes, always dynamic and often furious.A few melodies and smoother passages breeze some fresh air among the complicated lines and the result is an often amazing and pretty solid work in the vein of LIQUID TENSION EXPERIMENT, DEREK SHERINIAN or 7 FOR 4.

Glad to see extremely technical musicians deliver nice, listenable material, because very often these kind of albums have let me down.''Overlook'' is not among them.It's solid and energetic Heavy Fusion with plenty of interesting ideas and impressive breaks.Strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

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 Sodom & Gomorrah by FROM.UZ album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.94 | 90 ratings

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Sodom & Gomorrah
From.uz Eclectic Prog

Review by BrufordFreak

5 stars It seems that long-time band leader Albert Khalmurzaev is finally getting his name vaulted to the top of the marquee: "Music by Albert Khalmurzaev." What is most interesting to me is that this is the most melodic music I've heard from this band (I'm a proud owner and lover of 2008's Overlook, 2010's Seventh Story, and 2011's Quartus Artifactus). Whereas all of their previous work has breathtaking musicianship and highly interesting and unusual song constructs, this one plays and feels like something quite theatric--as if meant to accompany a film or stage production. Of course, it makes sense that this work should be theatric as it is a conceptual music drama of the famous Biblical story of Lot and Sodom and Gomorrah. Powerful and very 'visual', this music 'tells' a story very powerfully, very strongly, with great ability to suck in and carry the listener along through its 53 minutes without losing his/her attention. The Dick Dale-like "Folly or Fob" teases the listener with vocal samples--making one realize that there are, in fact, no vocals on From.UZ albums--something I, personally, would love to see them attempt to change in the future. Aside from this one flaw--a flaw that is very seldom allowed to stay in one's mind for very long so mesmerizing and pleasing are the instrumental performances and melodic hooks and twists, respectively--this is a highly engaging album of nd I don't know what happened with the band from 2011 to now, but the band has definitely made that final leap from what I considered a band of incredible musicians stuck in some on-the-verge music to a band of maturely restrained musicians performing the amazing compositions of an amazingly gifted visionary and composer. Congratulations From.UZ: This is the breakout album I've always been convinced that you were capable of and for which I've been waiting since I first heard Overlook five years ago.

Favorite songs: the incredibly powerful, "The Blindness, Wife's Prayer" (5:07) (10/10); the awesomely mood-setting opener, "Intro" (3:12) (10/10); the gorgeous yet eerily tense, "Prologue (3:24) (9/10); the surprisingly electro-poppy (like ABC or The Blow Monkeys), "City" (2:06) (9/10); the AETHER-like, "Lot" (4:54) (9/10); the appropriately busy and theatric, "The Orgy" (4:17) (8/10); the mesmerizing trip-hoppy, "Black Feast II" (3:42) (8/10); the appropriately dramatic, "The Escape" (2:04) (8/10), and; the finale, "To The Flames" (3:41) (8/10).

This is a 4.5 star album that I'm rating up for the fact that it's melodies stay with me after I'm done listening and for the fact that it gets better with each listen. Bravo, UZ! Bravo, Al K! Another addition to the pantheon of great albums from 2013!

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 Sodom & Gomorrah by FROM.UZ album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.94 | 90 ratings

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Sodom & Gomorrah
From.uz Eclectic Prog

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

5 stars I had heard about this band from Tashkent, Uzbekistan but never heard their music. So one fine day, I was casually surfing around, having nothing better to do than listening to a few selections on progstreaming and I clicked on 'Sodom & Gomorrah', expecting very little and perhaps only casually giving them the benefit of doubt. Boy, was I in for a special surprise! My first foray into From.uz and I am kicking myself why I didn't look up these gents before! Within the opening seconds of the aptly titled 'Intro' I was whisked into a sandstorm of colossal melodies, bombastic playing and unexpected aural pleasure. The acoustic guitar- led theme is drop-dead beautiful while its immediately following electric cousin is brash, bold and brave. These gentlemen are killer instrumentalists, extremely gifted at their respective implements but heartened by some superb ideas. The music was composed by keyboardist Albert Khalmurzaev, who arranged a deliriously modern masterpiece based on the rather famous biblical story of eternal damnation and apocalypse. The style is highly reminiscent of soundtrack music and as such, contributes to evoking deep and personal images within each listener's realm of consciousness. I certainly am gung-ho for this kind of premise! In fact, this is not a collection of songs but rather a whole one piece slice of cinema music. It should be viewed as such! I found myself reminded of the now defunct French band Xang, a heady mixture of styles that emote deeply.

This is an all-instrumental extravaganza of the very highest order, there have been some very good ones lately (Carpe Nota, Progenesi, Edwin-Durant, The Inner Road, Mantric Muse etc') but these guys just smoke! Guitarist Vitaly Popeloff is masterful and inventive, showing considerable talent on both acoustic and electric instruments, liberally showering the arrangements with tight and bright solos with a huge palette of styles from Gilmourian flourish to more fusion/jazz-rock artists as well as some Satriani/Vai flurries. Bassist Andrey Mara-Novik bustles along forcefully, having a solid low end being ultra-important in an all- instrumental presentation. Drummer Badirov is well known and respected for fronting his own musical collective and he bashes with inspired determination and technical prowess, which this kind of music desperately requires. Albert is helped by second keyboardist Yevgeny Popelov, which gives the music such diverse colorations, a living breathing entity that is always compelling and thoroughly breathtaking, with searing melodies that I have been humming ever since'.

'Prologue' has eerie intonations, as if the devil himself was busy humming his anger in the next room, the bass, keys and guitars in metronomic unison, playing together in some Sinai sandstorm playground, stinging guitar and syncopated drums offer up some serious emotions. Totally brilliant! This exoticism is then morphed into an ultra-modern sheen on 'City', using current beat stylistics and a synthesizer melody that beckons the heavens, with a sensational guitar alliance. You swear you have heard this before, an eclectic mix of jazz, lounge, club and rock, all mixed together.

A Supertramp-ish harmonica introduces 'Lot',( according to the Bible, Abraham's nephew ) the connection quickly veering into Floydian territories with a Gilmourian flourish that will make David proud, easily as juicy as any PF piece, full of restrained gusto and evocative flair. The floating synth work combines perfectly with the strict rhythm. But it's the magical return of the original refrain heard on the opener that really stabs at the heart. This piece in particular has me mesmerized and constantly whirling in my brain. Before things get to comfortable, 'The Capture' kicks it into overdrive, a hard-rocking, bruising musical monolith that throbs fiercely, raspy guitars vying with searing leads (what a darn melody again) and torrents of keyboard adventure. The bass and drums veer into heavy jazz-rock territory, a raging quintet of insane musicians at their finest.

Forever challenging the listener to new horizons, the church organ gets to take a bow in 'Black Feast I', creating another distinct reference to ancient times but with a modern rock framework that is vibrant, fresh and totally exhilarating! Just enough to get ready for another highlight piece, the low-end propelled space rock anthem, appropriately named 'The Orgy', where the mood gets sensual and perverse as expressed by the lewd bass , the lascivious guitar screwing the horny keyboard onslaught hard and fast, just like she likes it! This piece should be x-rated, it's so suggestive and pernicious! Whew! Now before you get all puritan on me, the story of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha involves perversion and impenitent sin and their fall occurring with a proverbial manifestation of God's wrath. Nowhere is this best expressed by the sheer brutality of 'Folly Mob', where mechanical panting, an insistent synth alarm and an uncanny resemblance to classic Blue Oyster Cult meeting Magma- styled choir work , complete with a Buck Dharma like solo man the barricades! Blood on the rooftops, secured by a stellar Oriental synth segment straight out of the Mongol Invasions and then finished off by a crystalline acoustic guitar and harmonica lullaby! Absolutely irresistible!

'The Blindness' comes with thunderclaps amid the dense storm of unforeseen doom, huge bursts of synthesized squalls appear on the horizon, pushed along by electric guitar winds and tectonic drums. For whom the bells toll, the cowering voices appear as a sub- plot amid the lurid organ layers, more choir work. On the imperial 'Black Wedding' a thumping bass-synth announces a splendorous new melody, sounding much like a cimbalom (treated guitar and synth effects), the epic and the modern collide in total harmony, creating a surreal sensation of attending some dark union, malevolent and austere. Howling choirs appear to initiate another go through, the bass this time more insistent and the clanging melody heightened by the repetition. Third time magic and the now familiar melody is now firmly entrenched in one's mind!

'Black Feast II' is the return engagement of the previous part 1, another tic-tac metronome of kismet and anguish, deeply beautiful yet disquieting and scary. The rash, almost Frippian guitar rumbles forward with colleagues firmly in tow, a Larks Tongue in deep Aspic reminder, that segues into the menacing 'Procession', a highly interesting hodge-podge of sampled sonics , as if surfing a radio dial, with saxified insanity, some R'n B effects, Brufordian thumps and a section that is straight out of the classic Crimson King catalogue. This in turn segues into Elvis samples and more horror movie sonic scenarios in 'The Escape' where the main theme is repeated once again, a theme for the ages that will give you goosebumps. This chaotic arrangement leads straight into the final catastrophe, aptly titled 'To The Flames', whereby the sinning cities are destined to obliteration, desperately screaming souls all instantly incinerated! Judgement day had arrived!

The whole thing just sparkles from beginning to end, no weak moment, no turgid second to distract the listener. Just pure, unadulterated enjoyment, a perfect definition of what a progressive rock album should be! Easily the biggest unexpected surprise of 2013, a iconic piece of symphonic prog I intend to venerate for a very, very long time. At least until the next doomsday event arrives in our neighbourhood! In my current top 5 for 2013, easily!

5 Pillars of Salt

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 Overlook by FROM.UZ album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.89 | 94 ratings

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Overlook
From.uz Eclectic Prog

Review by maryes

3 stars In their first album"Overlook", the band FROM-UZ, cause at least two different impressions, In first place... a great exercise of virtuosity, due to magistral development of various themes in a single track, a true demonstration of the musicians skill and inspiration ! But in second place... each song don't evokes ( at least to me ) a good impression due to the fact of each theme inside in a single track in most or even in all 5 tracks don't create a continue idea ,such is the abrupt form of these excellent musical sequences . This fact makes their audition extremely complex and not pleasurable. In fact the disk in most of times don't sounds like a really eclectic prog and seems more like a R I O band. Due the great inspiration in the themes and the flaw in merge this themes adequately. My rate is 3 stars !!!

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 Quartus Artifactus by FROM.UZ album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.87 | 95 ratings

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Quartus Artifactus
From.uz Eclectic Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars FROMUZ is perhaps the best known progressive rock band operating out of Uzbekistan, a country once a part of the Soviet Union that now has a substantial history as an independent nation. Fromuz was formed back in 2005, and since their debut effort "Audio Diplomacy" they have four full-fledged albums to their name, of which "Quartus Artifactus" is the most recent and most massive, I might add, as this production contains two CDs and a DVD.

This fourth artifact from the Uzbekistan act Fromuz takes the band full circle to some extent, as this production is made with the same approach as most of their other releases are: a live recording supplemented with a DVD documenting the concert itself. One might even suspect them of doing the same as a band like the Canadian act Rush, who have used live albums to mark the end of each of their musical eras. Be that as it may be, for fans in particular the alternative, semi-acoustic arrangements used on this album will be the most important reason to purchase and explore this triple package. Most songs work fairly well explored in this context, and some are revitalized and arguably better than the original ones. Like the three albums previously released by this band, "Quartus Artifactus" is a high-quality release, and one easily recommended to existing fans and newcomers alike, the latter in particular if they would like to explore an eclectic, hard to define band, operating within a fusion/symphonic/folk framework on this occasion.

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 Seventh Story by FROM.UZ album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.56 | 65 ratings

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Seventh Story
From.uz Eclectic Prog

Review by toroddfuglesteg

3 stars The size does not always matter.

This is the second album from this Uzbek supergroup. A band listed as Eclectic prog because there is no label that really fits the music Fromuz has come up with here.

Seventh Story is an album. An album that reminds me about some of my old "this is what I did last year" photo albums with all kinds of photos bungled together in a disorder with only "last year" as the only concept that binds the photo album together. Just like Seventh Story in fact.

What we find on Seventh Story is prog metal, electronica, folk rock, neo prog, fusion, symphonic prog, eclectic and rock. I cannot really find a concept here. Not to mention; any cohesion or even a tube of glue.

Although this album is extreme varied in music styles and is far too varied and long in my opinion, there are some great stuff here. I like Fromuz best when they goes on the fusion/jazz warpath. The neo prog stuff is a bit odd. The prog metal stuff is generic. The folk rock stuff is also great. The rest is generic too.

In short, and far shorter than this album, this album is excellent value for money when it comes to variations of music and it's lenght. They could had named this album for The Fromuz Omnibus for that matter. The overall quality is good though. Check out this album if you are into everything big and varied.

3 stars

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 No More... by FROM.UZ album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2011
3.54 | 3 ratings

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No More...
From.uz Eclectic Prog

Review by memowakeman
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars A great song!

This is the last track released by Fromuz, a very interesting band from Uzbekistan that has gained recognition in the last years, thanks to their original and ambitious sound. "No more?" is a song that did not have room in their latest full-length album entitled "Quartus Artifactus" but that without a doubt is worth listening, and better, free-to-download-

It is a seven-minute composition that does not really have the sound that Fromuz usually offers; this is also an ambitious song, with a vast mixture of musical elements and genres. The first moments have a sense of tranquility, nice atmospheric sounds and textures that little by little are increasing until a completely new sound appears. The guitars and drums are aggressive in moments, and the vocals have a distinct sound. After two minutes we have a change, nice guitar and background keyboards for some seconds, then a fast piano sound and later a wonderful mellotron sound appears, in a passage that sounds terribly good, and terribly progressive.

The instrumental section shows the musician's quality and skills, we have a well-composed and structured track, with several inner changes that make evident the ambitions of the band, and how in one single track they manage to offer something really strong and interesting. In the last minute the vocals return and turn the song as it previously was, and continues like this until there are five seconds left, when it has a fast and progressive ending.

This is a very nice track from Fromuz, go and download it! The track itself deserves at least four stars, but I give to it three, you know, I don't usually rate with more than 3 stars singles or EPs.

Enjoy it!

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 No More... by FROM.UZ album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2011
3.54 | 3 ratings

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No More...
From.uz Eclectic Prog

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

4 stars 'No More...' - Fromuz (Single)

Here is a single song from the Uzbekistani jazz fusion ensemble Fromuz (styled From.uz). Left off of their 2011 double album 'Quartus Artifactus', I can see why Fromuz may have wanted 'No More...' to take its own path, as the sound here is fairly different than what the album had in store. Whereas 'Quartus Artifactus' was primarily an instrumental jazz fusion affair, Fromuz uses a variety of different styles and fuses them all together into one eight minute song. The most striking thing about this song is the use of vocals, which is something I had heard Fromuz do a little bit on their latest LP, but it felt like an idea that was never really explored. 'No More...' proves to me that Fromuz should certainly check into this sound more, the vocals really compliment the more traditional prog sound they have here. On top of melodies and soaring vocals that sound almost spotted from neo-prog, there is still the impressive jazz musicianship in the technical instrumental sections. A very good song with enough ideas to call it something of a mini-epic. Great stuff!

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 Quartus Artifactus by FROM.UZ album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.87 | 95 ratings

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Quartus Artifactus
From.uz Eclectic Prog

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

4 stars 'Quartus Artifactus' - Fromuz (7/10)

Although music has opened me up to other cultures and countries like nothing else, I cannot say I had yet heard a band from Uzbekistan before hearing Fromuz, a talented fusion rock quintet from Tashkent. With 'Quartus Artifactus', the band introduces themselves to me through a sprawling hundred minute exploration of guitar-based jazz fusion, and folkish instrumentation. If anything, Fromuz is a band with a great deal of skill and potential in their sound, as can be heard clearly with this, their third full-length album. Although much of this mostly instrumental album presents some very interesting ideas and even gets great chemistry going on in parts though, Fromuz could do with some editing in their sound. Make no mistake, 'Quartus Artifactus' is a long album- arguably too long for its own good- and had they condensed this hundred minute foray by cutting out the less necessary aspects of the music, I would have even more great things to say about the band's music.

Being from a part of the world that is steeped in folk music tradition, Fromuz takes alot of influence from their roots as people of Uzbekistan, and merges those local musical flavours with jazzy band chemistry and longform instrumental noodlings. With the exception of a short interlude song towards the beginning of 'Artifactus' called 'A Perfect Place', Fromuz is entirely instrumental here, and although the vocals at work there are nothing special, it can feel somewhat awkward to have an aspect of the band come and go within a percent of the record. Fromuz does have a tendency to take up interesting ideas and discard them before long, but while the band's use of ideas is not the greatest, the little musical concepts throughout 'Quartus Artifactus' keep the music engaging. The music generally flows through what largely sounds like a mix of improvisations and triggered cues, but having something like an Indian raga breakdown fall in the middle of a jazzy section is not usually expected.

If Fromuz has one thing going for them, its their abilities as musicians. Especially in terms of the adept guitar work, the band manages to fashion melodic and pleasant solos, merging them very nicely into the sometimes very complex rhythm section. Sadly, the production here- while clear-sounding enough- feels incredibly dry, and does not do well to convey the emotional intensity that the musicians quite clearly have with their music. It would be excellent to hear Fromuz edit and refine their sound somewhat, in order to capture the great things about them without having to make such a longwinded trip to get there. At a hundred minutes, 'Quartus Artifactus' can often feel as if it takes two or three times longer than it should to make a statement, but while not everything this album has to offer is a winner, there are enough excellent musical ideas to look into the record.

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Thanks to Garion81 for the artist addition.

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