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KINETIC ELEMENT

Neo-Prog • United States


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Kinetic Element biography
US outfit KINETIC ELEMENT is the creative vehicle of composer and keyboardist Mike Visaggio, and was formed in 2006. At that point in time he had just finished creating his first solo album, and was looking for additional musicians to be able to perform his works in a live setting.

Todd Russell (guitars), Matt Harris (bass) and Michael Murray (drums) decided to join him, and this collaboration worked so well that they shortly after decided to evolve it to a band project - quickly given the name Kinetic Element. Since then they have been performing a number of live shows, and slowly but surely gotten along to record songs as well. Harris left the band in 2008, replaced by Tony D'Amato, but in October 2009 D'Amato was forced to leave the band as well, due to personal reasons.

So far Kinetic Element have issued a demo EP named The Powered By Light Suite in 2008, and in 2009 their full length debut album Powered By Light followed.

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3.47 | 27 ratings
Powered By Light
2009

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KINETIC ELEMENT Reviews


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 Powered By Light by KINETIC ELEMENT album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.47 | 27 ratings

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Powered By Light
Kinetic Element Neo-Prog

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Kinetic Element from USA is a good unknown band conducted by Mike Visaggio- keyboardist formed around 2006. The only one album released so far is Powered by light from 2009. Well, the music is quite good and even great in places, symphonic prog with lots of twists and turns, long pieces, the perfect example is the opening Riding in time, a well written tune with lot to offer, inspired keyboards- guitars duels, as the rest of the pieces I might say. Not very much to add, but those who like bands like Spocks Beard, The Tangent or the old school like Genesis or ELP, can easy give this band a try they worth it. To me a solid 3 stars maybe 3,5 in some parts, a good one for sure. Very nice art work, gatefold.

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 Powered By Light by KINETIC ELEMENT album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.47 | 27 ratings

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Kinetic Element Neo-Prog

Review by aapatsos
Special Collaborator Prog Metal and Heavy Prog Teams

3 stars Very positive statement by Kinetic Element in a release that is full of the "light" side of progressive rock of the 70's (mainly), resting heavily on the prog giants of the symphonic movement such as ELP, Yes and Genesis. Lush keyboards border between Neo and symphonic and there is a general aura of optimism that will please the traditional prog rock fans. The "dark" side is utterly missing and that might influence your view on the album or not bother you at all.

Several jazzy moments in the vein of The Tangent and Beardfish are deviations and similar is the tribute paid to IQ (especially on the closing highlight). Long album but with enough composition and quality work to support it, "Powered by Light" is a debut that many bands would like to have. With more work on the personal expression and character of the band, and the progressive untying of knots with the long-distant past, the next album might make the step that this has not.

Symphonic/neo prog rock fans will enjoy this thoroughly, especially if you like long compositions that flow very well with one another.

Best moments: Riding in Time, See the Children. Least interesting: Meditation

3.5 stars and very warmly recommended

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 Powered By Light by KINETIC ELEMENT album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.47 | 27 ratings

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Kinetic Element Neo-Prog

Review by Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Another great discovery I found here on PA. It´s hard to believe this band is actually from the USA since their sound is deeply rooted in the european tradition of 70´s classic symphonic prog, specially from the UK. And even harder to believe this is only their debut! The level of maturity of this group in terms of performance, songwriting and production is astonishing. Even if most of the stuff was product of vocalist/keyboardist Mike Visaggio´s hands and mind (I heard Powered By Light was sopposed to be released as a solo album), credit must be given to the extraordinaire band members as well. This is, after all, a team work.

Like most symphonic prog albums, Powered By Light charmed me from the start, but not much. It was only after several spins that I was finally hooked and begun to notice all the songs subtle and wonderful details. Those guys really did their homework, for it´s easy to see they have the right influences (ELP, Yes, Genesis, among others, plus some jazz stuff here and there to spice it up) and still they come up with something totally of their own. Every song is a winner and the arrangements are very tasteful. Every musician plays its part at the right moment, resulting a very harmonic sound. They all are skillful but they play for the music, not for showing off.

It´s ok that Powered By Light is not perfect. Meditation is a five minute acoustic guitar instrumental that clearly does not fit in here, but it doesn´t spoil the overall impact of the album. Highlights are of course the general use of delightful analogic sounding Keyboards that reproduce such vintage instruments like the Hammond organ and the mellotron. As a singer Mike Visaggio may not be not as gifted as on the keys, but what he lacks in range he more than compensates with feeling and conviction. Besides, he does not try to reach notes he is not capable of making his vocal lines very pleasant and emotional. The guitar parts are also very good and creative. The rhythm section is strong and versatile. To top it all, every tracks is simply excellent (all right! meditation is an exception, but it is not bad either). Production is right on the mark, very well done.

Conclusion: an excellent start for this band. I was tempted to give it a five star rating, but I believe that since Powered Bu Light is their first, they will probably try to better this one and I rather wait till I have more of their work to give a fair view of their potential. Anyway, this is a remarkable achievement and I´m giving it 4,5 stars. I recommended it to anyone who enjoys high caliber symphonic prog rock with lost of fine melodies.

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 Powered By Light by KINETIC ELEMENT album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.47 | 27 ratings

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Kinetic Element Neo-Prog

Review by maryes

5 stars Oh !!! How is good find in present times a band to make a sound such as KINETIC ELEMENT !!! A band which get again the real spirit of rock in the progressive music !!! I realy think to be important the tireleess study of musical theory ; the scales and their moods, the harmonics intervals, the change of the rhythmic beats....But I also think wich music is more than just this things. The music is above all - inspiration !!! In "Powered by Light" you can find all of that elements. The music is in the same time complex and simple. Complex due to the blend of various musical styles and simple because of the manner used to develop the melodies and musical landscapes (which depend almost totally from inspiration). The influences are diverses - SYMPHONIC PROG (Genesis, Yes , EL&P etc..), SPACE PROG ( Eloy, Pink Floyd , etc...), HARD PROG ( Deep Purple) etc... Highlights to tracks 3 ( with a jazz prog overture and main theme ) track 4 (with a very beautifull initial ballad wich lead the music to a very nervous midle section and returns to the ballad for the conclusion) track 6 ( with a wave movement wich change to a Hard/Symphonic Prog with great intercalated solos and fantastic vocals). Obviously my rate is 5 stars !!!

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 Powered By Light by KINETIC ELEMENT album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.47 | 27 ratings

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Powered By Light
Kinetic Element Neo-Prog

Review by progpositivity
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Kinetic Element's "Powered By Light" is led by a variety of symphonic keyboard sounds and solos, carried forward by optimistically busy bass lines, punctuated by effective drumming and enhanced with spicy electric guitar leads.

The album kicks immediately into gear on "Riding in Time". Although an initial keyboard riff is reminiscent of 1970's Pink Floyd, it isn't long until we are in ELP/Genesis territory. Mike Visaggio intones in a manner not entirely unlike American singer Jim Morrison as he croons "When do I live? The future is now!" Soon thereafter he launches into a brief soliloquy about reaching out and grabbing hold of absolute truth. A brief harpsichord interlude transitions us into a piano solo that is almost rag-time in its approach. A pastoral section ensues as we once again hear crooning words of encouragement.

The Jim Morrison comparison may not be a fair one. After all, Visaggio hits his high notes with more clarity and conviction than the front-man for the Doors did. And his lyrics certainly focus upon words of hope and encouragement rather than apocalyptic images of sex and death. Even so, there is a certain vibe created whenever a musical visionary croons rock lyrics in such an American tone that I find the comparison irresistible nonetheless.

Other highlight tracks include "Peace of Mind, Peace of Heart", an upbeat rock anthem so uplifting that it almost sounds hymn-like in its phrasing, "Meditations", a quietly reflective guitar- led song that sets the stage for the album's 16+ minute mini-epic "Reconciliation".

This is a good debut prog album, earning a solid 3 star recommendation. Check it out!

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 Powered By Light by KINETIC ELEMENT album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.47 | 27 ratings

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Kinetic Element Neo-Prog

Review by Marty McFly
Special Collaborator Errors and Omissions Team

4 stars On the other hand, this one has really got me, as strict opposite to previous "Landmarq" (also Neo Prog) album. Repeating various synth/keyboards (this kind) sounds on Riding in Time, as changing of moods, nice graduation of songs (even about half-real and not so much existent, it drags me up). But speaking generally, this is album as whole is great connection between advantages of Neo Prog and Classical Music (mostly in terms of keyboards/guitar elements, just hear guitar in The Ascent, is it reminding you 19th century now ?). And songs follows and songs pleases and we all are happy. Or are we not ? Why shouldn't we be, when only bad thing here I can imagine is that in this variety of synth types used here, one or two I don't like too much (this brass sounding one for example). Tracks are poetic and there's strong feeling of soaring (common, 12 minutes ballad about beautifulness? that's great, isn't it ?). OK, there's some not so thorough stuff in Meditation, but we can't expect much from a song with this name, can we ? Nevermind, it's not a bad song, it just doesn't fit. Like spring, sticking out of couch.

5(-), but what' the most important thing, it attracted me all the time (OK, except Medic (T)ation

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 Powered By Light by KINETIC ELEMENT album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.47 | 27 ratings

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Powered By Light
Kinetic Element Neo-Prog

Review by avestin
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Kinetic Element was originally formed to perform keyboardist and vocalist Mike Visaggio's music form his solo album Starship Universe, released in 2006. Things, however, took a turn and they liked the idea of playing together as a band and along with playing covers of classic rock and prog-rock songs, they have been playing their own original material. Some of it already released as a promo ep, The Powered By Light Suite in 2008. In 2009, the band self-released Powered By Light

In 2008 I got to hear Kinetic Element's demo ep, The Powered By Light Suite, and though production-wise, there was a lot left to be desired, the music on it was enough to make me anticipate their future release. It came in the form of Powered By Light, self-released in 2009. As was the case for the ep, here too ELP serves as a major point of reference, as are Yes, Genesis and Procol Harum to a smaller extent. The tunes are very accessible and melodic. All the songs are written and composed by Mike Visaggio except for one, the instrumental Meditation, composed by guitarist Todd Russell.

There is a sense of hope prevailing in the songs, which I feel in both the tone of the music itself and is also evident from the lyrics. They speak of trying to overcome obstacles, believing in oneself and not fearing them. I for one am not thrilled with these type of lyrics, but then again, they are not that much "in the way" of enjoying the music for me. I do appreciate the way Mike Visaggio sings them and adapts them to the rhythm (take for instance The Ascent). However, at times I wish a more rasp and crude voice would take the lead or join in to add another element to the sound. Mike also serves us some beautiful and hooking keyboards work. The keyboards are at the forefront the majority of the time and set the tone of the music as well as the pace at times. However, the rest of the band are more than able at backing (and even leading or soloing ? check the guitar solo in Now And Forever) and accompanying, giving the songs the volume and breadth they require to sound properly (although at times I'd appreciate less use of cymbals). Peace Of Mind, Peace Of Heart showcases a beautiful interplay of guitar and keyboards and a well done development of a theme and side theme. I'd recommend this to fans of "symphonic-prog" and the above mentioned bands. This is not an essential album, but it contains some good and appealing songs .

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