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FUSEBOXX

Progressive Metal • Philippines


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Fuseboxx biography
FUSEBOXX is a 4-piece Pinoy (Filipino) Progressive band formed in 2001. They are known in the Philippines for their musical precision and technical proficiency. This, especially so for their ability to meld and incorporate Filipino sentimentality with the different musical elements from a vast array of genres they incorporate to their music (rock, fusion, pop, classical, new age, metal, alternative, etc.) in order to create cohesive and thematic materials-indeed, arranging their music into movements that convey a compelling musical message.

Considered as one of the strongest local live progressive metal acts of the country, FUSEBOXX's gigs impress because of their complex arrangements, musical dexterity and performance of their music, as each member puts passion into the music.

With all these qualities, FUSEBOXX shows what Filipino musicians are made of and proves that quality progressive music is indeed spread through all the corners of the world.


Biography provided by the band.

For gigs, bookings, product endorsements, and TF:fuseboxx@gmail.com; mail@fuseboxx.ph

Fuseboxx official website

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FUSEBOXX discography


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

4.00 | 5 ratings
Fuseboxx
2005
3.80 | 7 ratings
Animated
2011

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

FUSEBOXX Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

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FUSEBOXX Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Animated by FUSEBOXX album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.80 | 7 ratings

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Animated
Fuseboxx Progressive Metal

Review by Gatot
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Judging from its cover, I don't think this is a prog or metal music as the artwork implies something 'industrial' than progressive. But it's good that i fact Filippino does not only produce Arnel Pineida as lead singer of prominent rock band Journey but also having progressive metal band like Fuseboxx. I have played this album in its entirety more than three times and find the music is interesting to explore. There are strong elements of progressive metal in their music even though the band also put some flavors of jazz-rock in their music. I think the music, overall, is good and the band is promising to be one of rising stars in prog music from Asia.

Unlike typical progressive metal music with high energy opening music usually using orchestra in fast tempo style, this album 'Overture' (4:49) sets the tome in ambient mode. Even though it sounds so long but the opening is quite interesting to enjoy before the listeners are brought into high energy music that follows. The next instrumental 'Animated' (5:58) is really an excellent track with fast tempo style, packed with acrobatic work of keyboard, guitar combined with heavy riffs. This track blew me away at fist listen. The following 'Reflections' (6:09) is a mellow track with female vocal. I think it's too soon for the band to offer this kind of mellow style right after excellent previous track. Yes, the music moves in crescendo into higher energy style with riffs but this track is predominantly a mellow track. 'Pagbalik' (4:18) starts off with nice piano followed with mellow music that accompanies female vocal. Like previous track the bass guitar plays its solid lines throughout the track especially during mellow segments enriched with keyboard solo.

The band tries to lift-up the music with the next fifth track 'Columns' (5:45) where it has nice opening in progressive metal style with some symphonic textures. Unfortunately when the vocal enters, it tends to bring the style into mellow even though sometimes there are riffs as well. 'No Glory' (7:38) lifts up the music into higher energy. 'Uyayi' (7:34) is a track that inserts jazz-rock style in the middle of the music - the interlude. 'Twilight' (4:16) has more jazzy style especially with its piano solo. 'Hibang' (5:11) is basically a nice ballad with powerful female vocal. This track has excellent interlude in relatively complex arrangements. 'Araw' (5:06) has boring part at the end especially with its uncoordinated children choirs that do not sound match with the music. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

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 Animated by FUSEBOXX album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.80 | 7 ratings

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Animated
Fuseboxx Progressive Metal

Review by JayDee

5 stars 1. Overture 4:49

2. Animated 5:58

3. Reflections 6:09

4. Pagbalik 4:18

5. Columns 5:45

6. No Glory 7:38

7. Uyayi 7:34

8. Twilight 4:16

9. Hibang 5:11

10. Araw 5:06

2011 has so far blessed us with a handful of great international Progressive Rock releases. New albums from noteworthy bands like Yes, Symphony X, Riverside and a side project of the great Robert Fripp to name a few, have delighted progheads young and old who have always been on the lookout for new materials. This year also, the Progressive Metal community saw the departure of Mike Portnoy from Dream Theater, who was eventually replaced by no less than the owner of the worlds quickest pair of hands (as certified by that famous world records book that we are all familiar of.) in drumming, Mike Mangini. And with all that, we're just halfway through this year.

Here at home we are equally blessed. The much-awaited release of the sophomore album of the Pinoy Progressive Metal torch bearers Fuseboxx has finally happened. Animated is launched, on June 11, 2011 at Conspiracy Bar in Quezon City. Their follow-up to their first album released 5 years ago. The long awaited comeback was hampered maybe by several lineup changes, sucky music business scene and the unpreparedness of Filipino listeners, but whatever the reasons may be, the fans (I included) are just glad they managed to put out the album . Progressive music lovers flocked the venue including Fuseboxx's very own, The Colony, to participate and express support to the event.

2 weeks after the launch I got a hold of the album, and here, ladies and gentlemen is what I have to say:

The album boasts of 10 brand new all original music written mainly by Eric Tubon (synthesizers) and co-written by the remaining band members. Fuseboxx seemed effortlessly delivered another solid Progressive Rock/ Metal album fit for Progressive Music beginners, the pickiest of listeners and for the musically "unchallenged" as well.

I decided not to do a track by track review, 'coz just like The Matrix, you have to experience this album yourself.

PROS:

What I've always liked about Fuseboxx is that though they play the brand of Metal that they do, they never fall inside the trap of musical w*nkery. Nothing is overdone. Some tracks clock in at more that 6 mins., but what's interesting to note is that the average track length is a little over than 5 mins., which is equivalent to most ear and radio-friendly songs. What I'm trying to say is that the songs and the message in this album is easy to digest and understand despite it being uncompromisingly progressive. That is why Animated is great for people who are new to the genre or to those who are absolutely clueless about what Progressive Music is. It goes to show that a band doesn't have to play long solos, elaborate instrumentals and write highfalutin lyrics to be called progressive. Songs with a more poppy feel includes Pagbalik (Returning), Uyayi (Cradle Song/ Lullaby), and Hibang (Insane) which reminds me of an Evanescence song.

The band's lyrics are largely based on the members' personal take on life and its struggles, love and hope, which I think we can all relate to. The texture of the songs loosely follows the pattern of Melodic Progressive Metal with a hint of Jazz and New Age music. Another usual problem that we encounter when we listen to this type of music is blandness. I mean, non-stop double-bass pedal drumming, high-pitched, monotonous, operatic vocals, cheesy keyboards, gun-metal grey guitar riffs and lyrics pertaining to dragons, wizards, demons and what not is my definition of musical blandness. I listened closely and I'm proud to announce that I found everything? TASTY! Well except for one track which I'll talk about in the CON section of my review. Despite its apparent simplicity and straightforwardness, Animated does not fall short of expectations from a Progressive Music veteran. Tracks like "Animated", "Reflections", "Columns" and the album's centerpiece and my personal favorite "No Glory" uncompromisingly raise the Progressive Music banner. Mico Ong (Guitar) and Lester Banzuelo's (Drums) playing are highlighted on these tracks. I recommend the listener to play those said tracks loud and proud. Horns up!

The Chapman Stick.

I know what you're thinking... No that is not an eating utensil. Wikipedia defines it as, and I quote "an electric musical instrument devised by Emmett Chapman in the early 1970s. A member of the guitar family, the Chapman Stick usually has ten or twelve individually tuned strings and has been used on music recordings to play bass lines, melody lines, chords or textures. Designed as a fully polyphonic chordal instrument, it can also cover several of these musical parts simultaneously." Note the phrase "used on music recordings to play bass lines". Rod Vidanes, Fuseboxx's former Bassist left the band a few years ago. The band tried recruiting bass players but eventually carried on without one. The burden of playing bass rested on Abby's (Vocals) back. That gives us another good reason to hear this album. Abby Clutario's skillful playing of the Stick, doing extra chores on keyboard and ALL while singing is one highlight. I play musical instruments as well, and I know how hard it is to do 2 things at the same time. Imagine doing 3. Sometimes I manage to play the drums and sing, or play rhythm guitar and sing, but it gets hard when the music I play becomes technical. That kind of playing requires mastery of the instrument and above average skill and Abby made it look easy. She is off the hook I say. I don't know how many bands here in the Philippines use the Chapman stick as part of their regular instrument, but I'm pretty sure there is not a lot. So for those looking for something different, Animated is for you.

CONS:

A balanced review is a good review so here are the few I've noticed.

The album sleeve and cover. I'm a fan of artsy album covers. The cover compliments the whole music and the band. It's what we first see when buying a record so it's a big plus to have a great album artwork. The album cover is not that bad but the front cover of the album looks blurred and a little grainy. The new Fuseboxx icon/insignia becomes tiring because you see it in the front, the CD itself, and it's also placed behind the CD case when you remove the CD. I remember Fuseboxx posted some collection of pictures called "SIGHTINGS" before the album was released. They should've used them instead.

Production/ Overall sound mixing. I'm not an expert on this one, I'll leave it to the listeners, but I think Fuseboxx or their mixing crew can do a better job.

The first track, Overture. I'm not a big fan of operatic singing and I personally think it's a weak album opener.

Get a Bassist. Don't get me wrong, Abby is doing one heckuva job in playing Bass using the Chapman Stick, but imagine how great it is if the Stick is used to play more than just bass lines. Nothing sounds better than a true bass guitar. Bass guitar PLUS Chapman Stick equals EPICNESS!

In conclusion, I commend the band for sticking to what they do best, and not give in to the trials that they faced before this album is made available. I consider Animated a blessing because despite the lack of support of the listening public and surprisingly other bands and the given unpopularity of progressive music, Fuseboxx persisted and made an amazing album Filipinos can be proud of. I think the success of the 2nd album is due partly to an equally amazing bunch of fans called The Colony who stood by them through thick and thin. That's why they responded with a great release.

A must ?buy for Prog veterans, newbies and folks who are looking for a great rocking album.

USA have Dream Theater, Kansas, Aghora and Symphony X. Canada has Rush. England have Genesis, Pink Floyd, King Crimson and Yes. Italy have Le Orme and a whole genre called Rock Progressivo Italiano. We Filipinos have Pinoy Progressive Music and Fuseboxx.

Mabuhay and Prog On!

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 Fuseboxx by FUSEBOXX album cover Studio Album, 2005
4.00 | 5 ratings

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Fuseboxx
Fuseboxx Progressive Metal

Review by JayDee

4 stars This is what Filipinos can do with prog metal, and I'm very proud of it.

Hailing from The Philippines, Fuseboxx's self titled album delivers a solid 57+ minutes of impressive musicality and talent. Discovered from a famous local band search, these guys emerged as the leading acts of progressive metal here in the Philippines. Gathering influences from Dream Theater, Aghora, Nightwish, while adding their own sound, Fuseboxx offered us their first installment.

The opening track, appropriately entitled Switch(4:54), starts off strong with dreamy keyboards and an obvious Mike Portnoy influenced style of drumming, the rest of the group followed their lead. Abby's singing voice can be described as warm and haunting, reminiscent of The Gathering and Aghora. The song continues with heavy riffing until it breaks into an interesting overdub of 2 men having a conversation. The album goes on with the second track, enigmatically entitled 11:28 (6:33), which let Albert (guitars) and Rodney (Bass) strut their stuff. Another male voice overdub, quoting the Bible, is once again used as an opening. The third and the only Tagalog song in the album, UlanArao(5:31), translated as Rain/Sun aptly started with gentle piano and a thunder, as if rain is about to fall. Romantic and mellow, this song seemed to be the carrier single of the album, singing about love and loneliness, and the longing to be find the light, in spite of the darkness. The first verse goes like: Nangangamba ang puso ko sa pagdating nitong ulan/Nagiisip kung paano mapapawi itong lumbay ( My heart grieves, with the coming of the rain/Thinking how will I ease this pain). Excellent song. My favorite actually. The band comes back with an up tempo, radio-friendly track Breathe(5:28), starting off with a middle eastern feel then coupled with dreamy keys and driving guitars. This track wins the catchy chorus award. Then comes the main event, the centerpiece, the 4-part epic entitled Outlet(combined time 23 plus minutes) . Coinciding with the band's name (Fusebox, get it?) this is where the band pours out their talent, musically and lyrically. But what really stands out for me is the 9th track Outlet IV. Clocking in at 8:16, it's their longest and their brightest track. This one is breathe taking, you have to hear it yourself. The remaining 2 tracks are radio edits of Outlet I and II.

Overall, this CD is one heck of an album. It offers an alternative for the mainstream music which dominates the Philippine airwaves. Fuseboxx deserves to be heard, here and abroad.

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