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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.

Kinetic Element official website

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TravelogTravelog
Import
Melodic Revolution Records
Audio CD$8.00
Powered By LightPowered By Light
Unistar Music, ASCAP 2009
Audio CD$10.49
$10.77 (used)
Powered By Light by Kinetic Element (2009-09-01)Powered By Light by Kinetic Element (2009-09-01)
Unistar Music, ASCAP
Audio CD$71.67
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KINETIC ELEMENT discography


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

3.50 | 35 ratings
Powered By Light
2009
3.98 | 51 ratings
Travelog
2015

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KINETIC ELEMENT Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Travelog by KINETIC ELEMENT album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.98 | 51 ratings

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Travelog
Kinetic Element Neo-Prog

Review by Starcross

4 stars Just finished my first listen through TRAVELOG. All I can say is, "bravo." I really enjoyed POWERED BY LIGHT, but this one really takes some big steps in a very good direction. The writing and arrangements are always interesting, and the tracks develop and change in a very pleasing way. Each instrument shines in its own right, doing some cool and intricate stuff but never too much. Todd's instrumental guitar (and triangle) led section in the title track is just superb. Mike's keyboard driven, Bach-inspired fugue in the next track is one of the best things I've heard on a modern prog record in a long, long time. Drums and bass are consistently solid and interesting. Alternating between three different vocalists adds a feeling of diversity to the album that makes each track sound fresh and different from the others. The recording sounds great, and Fred and Steve's mix just sparkles...In fact, having mixed many albums myself I know the mix is of great importance, but amazingly at times I hear passages that actually SOUND like Glass Hammer. I can't wait to see what cool details emerge on subsequent listens...I have no doubt there will be many. Kudos to everyone involved, folks.

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 Travelog by KINETIC ELEMENT album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.98 | 51 ratings

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Travelog
Kinetic Element Neo-Prog

Review by Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Six years after their very promising debut (Powered By Light), Kinetic Element is back again with their sophmore release called Travelog. It was a long time coming, but very worth the waiting. The american quartet had some changes: now Mark Tupko replaces original bassist Tony D´Amato. And the vocal department, once courtesy of keyboardsman Mike Visaggio are now handle by three different guest singers. Other than that, the core members are the same (Visaggio on keys, Todd Russel on electric and acoustic guitars and Michael Murray on drums).

Compared to their debut, Travelog is a much more symphonic affair, with a strong jazz-rock fusion influence (specially the guitar parts). The music is still melodic and accessible, but definitly more complex and elaborated now, with longer instrumental passages. For instance, the shortest song is the title track and it clocks well over the 9 minute mark. There are no fillers at all and it´s hard to say which tune is the best, but I think the opener, the 20 minute epic War Song is definitely a highlight, with many tempo and mood changes. But the whole album is very inspired, very well produced and recorded and containing some powerful playing of all involved (including newcomer Tupko who shows his skills from the start with a short, but stunning bass solo on the aforementined War Song). I just love Visgagio´s elegant keys (hints of Tony Banks, Rick Wakeman and Keith Emerson abound). Russel´s guitar lines are superb too, but clearly this is a team work and everybody shines. Instrumentally speaking this album is as close to perfection as you can get, with not a wasted note to be found and everything flowing naturally thorughout the whole CD.

Vocals on the other side are not that perfect in my humble opinion. The three vocalists are very good and do a very creditable job on all tunes, but being so varied it kind of robbed some personality from the group. Mike Visaggio´s vocals on the first album showed that he was not the greatest singer, technically speaking, but he had a warm and soulful voice that suited their songs very well. While the guest singers were more professional, have stronger pipes, and most often than not they added a lot, sometimes they made the tunes sound too "clean" and less personal, if you know what I mean. It is just a detail only, of course. After all, 70 minutes of pure prog heaven is not something you find so easily nowadays!

Travelog is a fantastic CD that showed that Kinetic Element more than fulfilled its promising start. One of the best albums I heard this year and certainly a must have for any prog fan.

Rating: 4,5 stars at least,. Highly recommended!

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 Travelog by KINETIC ELEMENT album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.98 | 51 ratings

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Travelog
Kinetic Element Neo-Prog

Review by PH

5 stars KINETIC ELEMENT is a US group out of Richmond, Virginia. They've just released the new opus, and it should not disappoint. Actually, CD 'Travelog' embodies the style of classic progressive rock, yet with a contemporary slant. In the first instance, I would like to name some evident references, including Yes, ELP, Genesis, Kansas, Glass Hammer, Vertical Alignment and Spock's Beard. Versus to the debut offering ('Powered by Light' - 2009), the line-up of KE has slightly changed. Mark Tupko adds his bass courtesy, while the core still consists of Mike Visaggio (keyboards), Todd Russell (guitars) and Michael Murray (drums, percussion, whistling). Granted, a huge asset for the music is the introduction of three guest vocalists who complement all proceedings. So let's elaborate... A challenging 'War Song' made the most sense as the album opener. This 20+ min. epic combines a lot of kaleidoscopic details, surprising twists and turns, signatures and instrumental parts that walk their enthralling route forward. Creating the majestic feast, Mike Visaggio integrates Korg, Mellotron and Roland, never dull to listen to. The guitar master Todd Russell is nothing short of gorgeous. The rhythm section tends to get a percolating undercurrent. Worthy of note is the languid voice of Dimetrius LaFavors. Next up, the title track which employs a degree of subtlety and launches the finger- picking acoustic guitar performance to recall Steve Hackett. The middle section is a ballad type in terms of subject matter, accompanied by the vocals. The third serving, pleasant and sensuous 'Into the Lair', can be matched with the astral moments in Yes catalogue. There are echoes of Steve Howe and Rick Wakeman for certain stretches, supported by immaculate bass a'la Chris Squire. The hypnotic chant perfectly tunes to the arrangements - Michelle Schrotz succeeds in vocal excursion, tending to evoke Jon Anderson. The band follows this up with 'Her'. The undulating keyboards find Kinetic Element in near Tony Banks mode. As the song progresses, characteristics lead to a more pompous territory. To settle back into swirling circles, sophisticated 'Vision of a New Dawn (18+ min) brings another monumental mix of floating melodic lines, transitions and chord changes. The pattern of symphonic prog rock is present throughout with excellent placement of accents. It's a great finish for the standout CD!

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 Travelog by KINETIC ELEMENT album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.98 | 51 ratings

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Travelog
Kinetic Element Neo-Prog

Review by progrocks2112

4 stars I wish to first begin by saying I am only a fan of progressive rock. I am by all means an amateur in this field. I can say this. I know what I like and what I do not. I am not nor have I ever been a musician unless playing a trombone for 3 weeks in grade school counts. Saying that accept my "review" for what it is. My first real exposure to this band was a few weeks ago on The Waiting Room, a House of Prog weekly live internet radio program. While I was trying to listen to this, chat room interruptions etc didn't give me a clear vision of what I was listening to. So I had ordered during the program and finally I had the chance to really sit and listen to this cd today. During the interview of KE on HoP it was clearly understood that this band has had some trouble getting things rolling let alone getting it finished. The good thing is they did finish up and put out a very good cd. Travelog is filled with very good music. I won't dissect each track but will comment on a few pieces along the way. War Song is filled with great bass and vocals reminding me of a mix of Benoit David and Glenn McLaughlin. The title track is a pretty patriotic track as I believe the whole cd really is at its core. Into The Lair caught me off guard a bit as it started off with a gothic sound only to calm down with the beautiful vocals of Michelle Schrotz. Visons of a New Day I believe is the most ambitious track on the entire cd. It is also my favorite track. Overall I feel this is an important cd for all prog fans to own. It marks a completion of a process that was filled with some adversity. That alone is worth a listen. These guys, the core of the band, have something special going on and hopefully they will find their way into the homes of many prog fans. One can hear the heavy ELP influence on this cd which is a good thing. Mike Visaggio is a real pro at his craft I say he ranks among the greats. If I had to rate this cd, which I will it would be a solid 4 stars.

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 Travelog by KINETIC ELEMENT album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.98 | 51 ratings

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Travelog
Kinetic Element Neo-Prog

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 3.5 stars really

Kinetic Element returns after more then 5 years pause after quite good debut Powerd by light with sophomore album released in june 2015 named Travelog. Well, this is a nice symphonic/neo prog album from start to finish. Lenghty release with two monster pieces, the opening and the ending track clocking almost 40 min both, the middle of the album being little less lenghtier but still over 10 min each. So, as I said the music is good as on debut, even great in places, there are plenty of memorable passages here from acustical guitar parts to melodious inspired keyboards elements, almost jazzy druming in places but remaining of prog coordonates this Travelog is a winner from me. The music is reminescent very much from old prog school, the british one, ELP, Genesis coming in mind among others, but aswell closely to what Spock's Beard or The Tangent was offering in their glory days. Beautiful crafted pieces, lots of twists and turns all 5 tracks are worth investigated, maybe with a plus on opening track, for me their most mature tune since their forming years. All in all a very worthy second offer for this still quite unknown band in prog circles, and I think they must be discovered by many prog listners as possible. A nice candidate for top 10 for 2015. A nice intriguing art work.

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 Powered By Light by KINETIC ELEMENT album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.50 | 35 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
3.50 | 35 ratings

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Powered By Light
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
3.50 | 35 ratings

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Powered By Light
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
3.50 | 35 ratings

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Powered By Light
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
3.50 | 35 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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