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RESISTOR

Crossover Prog • United States


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Resistor biography
RESISTOR is the rock quartet of Steve Unruh, Fran Turner, Barry Farrands, and Rob Winslow. The band's sound is characterized by merging modern progressive and rock song structures with an organic classic rock sound. Their classic rock sound is probably due to their preferred recording technique of having everyone play the basic tracks in the same room at the same time, like bands did the "old days." This allows RESISTOR's recorded music to "breathe," as you can hear the band members adjust to each others' energy, tempo, and feel in real-time.


Personnel personal history: Steve Unruh is a prog-folk multi-instrumentalist with several solo albums of adventurous acoustic-oriented music. (Steve's ProgArchives page is at this link: http://www.progarchives.com/artist.asp?id=1632.) RESISTOR began life in 2005 when Steve decided to play more electric guitar, and started spending lunchtimes jamming with fellow electronic engineer and friend, Rob Winslow (bass). Rob had developed his trademark "groovy feel" by playing in bands of many different styles for years, but had never been professionally recorded. After several months of lunchtime jams, Steve and Rob heard through the company grapevine that the maintenance electrician was a good drummer, so they contacted him. Barry had actually quit playing drums a few years prior, but said he felt a gaping hole in his life where music used to be. So, upon hearing of an opportunity to jam over lunchtimes, he auditioned with Steve and Rob. When Steve and Rob heard Barry play the drums, they were stunned at his energy and skill, and a rock trio was formed. They spent lunchtimes jamming for the next year, and Steve began composing original music for the trio. Some of these songs eventually became the basis for RESISTOR's first album. The trio's skills were gradually getting better, but they all felt the music needed another layer. They assumed the 4th layer would be a keyboard player. But, be it by coincidence or fate, Fran was soon hired to their same company, and introduced himself by submitting a copy of his album, "Desert Voyage." Upon hearing Fran's album (which is filled with melodic guitar playing and odd time signatures), the trio knew they'd found the final member of their band. Steve says they named themselves RESISTOR because, "We're a band of 3 electronic engineers and an electrician, so we picked one of the cooler sounding electrical components, and because the word 'RESISTOR' has overtones of staying tru...
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RiseRise
Independent 2010
Audio CD$15.42
$13.20 (used)
The Secret Island Band JamsThe Secret Island Band Jams
Self-Produced
Audio CD$24.29
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RESISTOR discography


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

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

3.72 | 47 ratings
Resistor
2008
3.89 | 118 ratings
Rise
2010
3.73 | 47 ratings
The Secret Island Band Jams
2011
3.79 | 42 ratings
To the Stars
2014

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

4.23 | 4 ratings
Live At RoSfest
2013

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

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

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

RESISTOR Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Live At RoSfest by RESISTOR album cover Live, 2013
4.23 | 4 ratings

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Live At RoSfest
Resistor Crossover Prog

Review by Progatron

4 stars Great sounding live album from Resistor, a talented band with a unique sound. The set draws mostly from their acclaimed album "Rise", with tracks such as the instrumental "Spaceghetti" showcasing Unruh's violin skills and the quirky "Mimosa", as well as the enormous storytelling epic "The Land Of No Groove". That last one is sure to please prog fans who love a good long story (like, forty minutes long!) with lots of twists and turns. Terrific stuff! Also of note is the debut of the title track from the forthcoming fourth studio album called "To The Stars", and the set opener "Reincarnation" from their debut album - a track which I've long said has one of the best choruses I've EVER heard.

Recommended, especially for fans who can't wait to hear something new. They can at least sample a nice eleven minute track from the next album! Long live Resistor!

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 Resistor by RESISTOR album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.72 | 47 ratings

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Resistor
Resistor Crossover Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars After a long and pretty prolific career as a solo artist, Steve Unruh decided to put together also a normal band around mid-00's.He gathered bassist Rob Winslow, drummer Barry Farrands and guitarist Fran Turner and so Resistor came in life.Unruh handles all lead vocals along with guitars, flutes and violins and in 2008 the band debuted with a self-released self-titled album.

Resistor play somekind of contemporary guitar-based Prog/Psych/Art Rock with many references to Unruh's solo works, even sounding like an Alternative Rock act at moments, but also taking huge inspirations from the 70's.The opening tracks are very good indeed, a mix of modern Prog Rock with light psychedelic influences with a bit of alternative elements, based on crunchy guitars, strong grooves and expressive vocals with a fair amount of breaks and a good dose of more emotional performances, while ''Jethro fran'', obvioulsy dedicated to JETHRO TULL, features the excellent flute interventions of Unruh.The middle part of the album is very average and less interesting, containing pieces with influences from Blues, Jazz and Classic Rock in a very inconsistent mix, which has nothing to do with the impressive openers.The two closing tracks though are on par with the good quality of the nice opening cuts.''Moondog'' is very decent instrumental Heavy Prog with lots and impressive guitar moves by Unruh and great changing climates, while ''Waiting to Believe'' is a good modern Art Rock piece with distorted psychedelic guitars, a lovely smooth atmosphere and Unruh's more emotional performance on vocals, akin to the music of PORCUPINE TREE.

Wish the album could have kept the great quality of the opening and closing tracks.Still ''Resistor'' comfortably shows the direction Prog Rock moved during the millenium with some nice, both atmospheric and energetic delivery.Recommended.

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 The Secret Island Band Jams by RESISTOR album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.73 | 47 ratings

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The Secret Island Band Jams
Resistor Crossover Prog

Review by memowakeman
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Invite me to your island!

A couple of years ago I was introduced to Steve Unruh's music, as a solo artist and with Resistor; both sides have left me a wonderful impression so far, that is why I keep interest in his new and most recent works. Resistor's "Rise" was an album that left me a great taste of mouth, with challenging and adventurous compositions that made me have a good time. Last year (2011) the band released their third studio album, entitled "The Secret Island Band Jams" which actually shows the secret instrumental side of Resistor. This album features nine tracks and a total time of 58 minutes.

The first track is "Voyage 7" in which we can listen to the sea waves that gives us the impression they are in the island drawn in the album's booklet (the cover art, and the CD art is beautiful, by the way), later the guitars, bass and drums enter and begin to jam and create a cool and enjoyable sound that make us imagine a story, or various stories about the people in the island, well I imagine, I don't know about you. "Picadora" is a previously composed track instead of an improvisation, it features violin, which puts a folky sound to the rockish music. The guitar work (both guitars) is wonderful during the whole track.

"Piezo Fury" has the Spanish guitar that Unruh loves, and later it adds and combines the electric one. What I love from this track is that it started softly and then little by little its intensity increased until it really explodes and creates a wonderful jam. This is one of the best passages of the whole album. "All Systems Go!" has the rockiest mood of them all, since the first notes we are taken to the 70s with the rock and roll bands. The style in the three minutes is the same, the only thing that change is the guitar riff, cool.

"Dream of the Arctic Team" is another improvisation of this quartet. The mood here is much softer than the previous track, the music is in moments peaceful, relaxing, thoughtful. Besides the conventional instruments, here they added a flute after three minutes, which produces an even more serene mood and atmosphere. The bass touches are great, the drums good and the guitars especially cool. "Santa Anna" is a longer track, a longer trip because it was also an improvisation made by The Secret Island Band. Here we can find some hints of blues rock due to the rhythm; as you can imagine, it has some highs and lows, moments where the music slows down until it practically disappears and begins to be re-built, and moments of vertiginous tunes that greatly flow, the final minutes are really intense, great.

"Quirk" is a composed song which happens to be one of the shortest here. I like it, though it is not my favorite at all; I like the inner changes, and the intercalation between guitars and violin. "Sleepytime" shares a dreamy atmosphere, a calm mood that makes me imagine it is the end of a day, the night, the moment when one has to go and rest, and what better way to do it than with that charming flute sound over guitars and drums.

The album finishes with "Double Ascent" which is the longest track, a 15-minute jam that sums up what The Secret Island Band is about. It is the best jam of the album without a doubt, full of energy, with a variety of sounds and elements that make it more dynamic. I like the drums a lot here, with much more passion (I don't know why the drummer didn't do the same in the previous tracks), the guitars as usual with great notes and riffs when required, and the bass as the perfect complement. Worth mentioning that with fifteen minutes of length, the song opens the gates for different and various changes of mood, rhythm and even style.

This is a very good album without a doubt, with a daring proposal represented in both, the composed and the improvised songs, daring also because these are vocal-less tracks. As a unit, I would say it is a great album, though I have to say I miss the adventurous sound of "Rise" which in my opinion is a much stronger album than this, though I really applaud the effort and the concept of this new baby. My final grade will be three stars.

Enjoy it!

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 Resistor by RESISTOR album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.72 | 47 ratings

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Resistor
Resistor Crossover Prog

Review by justaguy

3 stars Enjoyable rock from 1970s, when Jethro Tull, Rush and Black Sabbath still sounded fresh and exiting. This one came 35 years later, but so what, for the old fart like me it sounds just right. Not too light and not too heavy. Among all those numerous other 70-s rock revival bands, Resistor stands as a rock. There is no secret to the success of this record I guess. There's great musical composing, radiating pleasure of the band members and very skilled and tasteful production. I am going to put this record right next to my Jethro Tull collection.

Resistor makes it quite clear what heritage they are drawing from. Check for example the song "Jethro Fran", where the band's leader and multi-instrumentalist Steve Unruh plays flute. That song could easily be penned by Ian Anderson during recording of "Aqualung". "Fair To Say" reminds me of Fleetwood Mac during Peter Green years, a fantastic instrumental "222" is really something for Santana and "Moondog" comes very much in the neighbourhood of Rush's "XYZ". The anthem of the album is the almost 12 minute long "Restless Angel". It begins quietly, with a melancholical tune and explodes a few minutes later in outrageous Black Sabbathian guitar riffs. Very inflammable, you just leave whatever you do and go air guitarring. The album finishes with a really great blues, "Waiting To Believe", I didn't enjoy blues like this for quite a time. This one just hits the right note in my sole!

This is how Resistor came to live, I quote their Myspace page: "Resistor was formed rather causally by original members Steve Unruh (Vocalist, Songwriter, and Multi-Instrumentalist), and Rob Winslow (Bass Guitar). As fellow employees, working for a major toy company, the guys spent many a lunch break practicing in a very small studio. Rob and Steve jammed with a few other musicians for a year or so, before meeting and auditioning Barry Farrands (Drums, Vocals). The chemistry was right from day one! Now could it possibly get any better? Well... the toy company hired another employee, who now sits next to Steve and Rob and happens to be a great guitarist and a great guy! Fran Turner became the player who completed the puzzle!"

Resistor is a less proggy record, comparing with the Steve Unruh's solo albums, which he has already made quite a few. But it is may be a little more enjoyable, since here you have a whole band, with it's perfect chemistry, when the arithmetic laws don't count and 2+2 is not 4 any more? I guess the funs of Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Rush and Jethro Tull will love this record, highly recommended!

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 Rise by RESISTOR album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.89 | 118 ratings

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Rise
Resistor Crossover Prog

Review by Starhammer
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Barry vs. The Sea Monster...

The second studio album from the crossover quartet of three electronic engineers and an electrician.

Like two albums for the price of one, five individual tracks followed by a sprawling forty minute suite. It contains elements of heavy prog, classic rock and folk but what sets it apart from its counterparts is the bands insistence on recording their individual parts together at the same time in the same room. This is an unusual approach nowadays and I like the warmth and fluidity in bring to the overall sound.

Despite the first half of the album having only five tracks, they are reasonably lengthy and so the album is split pretty evenly down the middle. All are solid, my personal favourites being The Secret of the Open Sky, Mimosa, and Spaceghetti which sounds like the love-child of Steve Harris and Ennio Morricone.

The second half isn't quite so consistent, but enjoyable nonetheless. The Rush influences shine through here with epic passages remiscent of The Necromancer or By-Tor and the Snow Dog. Lighthearted humour underlies the spoken narrative which charts the journey of a group of disillusioned musical explorers on their quest to find some new tunes. In this respect The Land of No Groove suite is comparable to the likes of Beardfish or, dare I say, Tenacious D.

This might not be to everyones's taste, but I personally think that Resistor's approach to writing top quality music, whilst not taking themselves too seriously, is refreshing. That said, their clever choice of band name makes using a search engine to find their website a bit of a nightmare!

The Verdict: 6.9MΩ.

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 The Secret Island Band Jams by RESISTOR album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.73 | 47 ratings

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The Secret Island Band Jams
Resistor Crossover Prog

Review by thedunno

4 stars Resistor started out as the jam-band of a couple of colleagues that went loose during the lunchbreaks. That Resistor, after the release of two excellent studio albums, now comes with a largely improvised jam album is not really something completely surprising, considering their origins.

However, the quality of the material is! It's hard to believe that 6 out of the 9 tunes on the album are complete improvisations but they are. According to the information in the booklet the 'songs' are the result of the careful editing of jam sessions that sometimes lasted more then half an hour. The result is an album that offers plenty of variation in moods, tunes and instrumentation. The emphasis in de improvisations seems to be on the interplay between the musicians instead of mindless selfindulgent soloing. Resistor manage to hold my attention for the full length of the CD.

Beside the 6 improvised tunes are also 3 composed instrumentals. They offer very nice tunefull breaks from the darker, more intense improvised work.

I am not going to say that 'The secret island band jams' is as good as the brilliant Rise or the debut. It is a completely different animal so we really should not compare. It is certainly a worthy addition to the Steve Unruh/Resistor discography.

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 Rise by RESISTOR album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.89 | 118 ratings

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Rise
Resistor Crossover Prog

Review by TheGazzardian
Prog Reviewer

2 stars Rise is actually two albums in one, and is presented with an "album flip" to give kind of the feeling of having two sides (even though in this case, each side is 40 minutes so far beyond what a vinyl could contain, so let's pretend this is a tape).

There is a fair amount of enjoyable music on this album but it is uneven. Resistor is clearly at their best when they are rocking out, as on the opening track and Spaceghetti, which are in my minds the best tracks on side 1. Spaceghetti in particular I like, for I find Steve's vocals weak (sorry Steve!) and it's an instrumental track, with lots of energy and some great violin work. The opener is also great, and in this case Steves vocals work great - I'm gonna throw it out there and say I'm honestly not sure why they don't work for me most of the time! In the opening track, Steve's voice rocks along with the music and it sounds great!

Perhaps the problem with the vocals is the same as one I would point out with the music - the band just isn't as strong at lighter moments, at least to my ears. I am totally grooving along with them when they are rocking out, when the guitars wail and the violins roar and the drums kick, but when they slow down, I just kind of lose interest until the next time they rock out.

The second "side" is a 40-long minute piece called "The Land of No Groove", and it is a tongue- in-cheek adventure starring the band members and their quest first to escape from, and then to improve the quality of, the music played on the radio. It is hilarious, my favorite part being "Sea Monster Battle", and the band is irreverent enough that I think even if you are a fan of music played on the radio you can't really get too offended by it. It pretty much has the same weaknesses and strengths as the first side, just with some additional comedy to lighten things up.

Unfortunately, although I do find this album enjoyable and amusing, it hasn't held up on multiple spins, and is rather uneven. Definitely worth a few listens though.

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 Rise by RESISTOR album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.89 | 118 ratings

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Rise
Resistor Crossover Prog

Review by cutsofmeat

4 stars Most prog albums seem to be of the deep, philosophical nature these days. It is so commonplace for serious matter to be conveyed and then along comes Steve Unruh and his fine band of musicians and put out an album that is of the highest quality but more importantly...lighthearted and fun! I only recently discovered Unruh and his solo albums and really enjoy his style. Then I realized he had an actual band and I really wanted to see what Resistor was all about. I was instantly drawn in by the incredible level of talent and the eclectic, folksy style. This album has great moments throughout the first half and I really enjoy the instrumental Spaghetti on track 3. But once you get to the 2nd half of the album, you can't help but listen with a little grin once you figure out what is going on. Tracks 7-16 are called The Land of No Groove and tell of a goofy little story that rivals Puff the Magic Dragon. It's not meant to be taken too serious and that is what I love about this album. It's fun natured but the music never lacks in quality. The story is accompanied by some great musical moments as well as some down right bizarre lyrical content..."But Barry was trained in Eastern Meditation & combined with the adrenaline, he experienced an odd clarity of focus. He assembled his drumkit and prepared to chase away the beast by unleashing a frenzied flurry of drum fills!" That about sums up what you can expect. But given the silliness found on this album, don't discount this album as a whole. Repeated listens have been great and I ranked this my #1 album for year 2010. Is this a masterpiece? I am not ready to say it's quite on that level but time will tell. For now, a solid 4 stars! Very well done. I look forward to what Steve and his band of travelers come up with next!

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 Rise by RESISTOR album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.89 | 118 ratings

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Rise
Resistor Crossover Prog

Review by let prog reign

4 stars I am really surprised this album isn't rated higher. "Rise" is progressive, epic, and made by talented musicians.

Resistor is a very well rounded band. And by "well rounded" I mean some of their songs are mostly jamming while others are centered around vocals. They also make great use of the violin and flute in some of their songs. They also portray different emotions on almost every track, where as a band like Van Der Graaf Generator albums are mostly melancholic. (Nothing against Van Der Graaf Generator).

My favorite track on "Rise" is probably Mimosa. The song Mimosa is mostly jamming but also includes great vocals and shows off Steve Unruh's skill with the flute and violin. What a multi talented man!

Another thing I would like to add is how influenced Resistor is by Beardfish. At the beginning of the song Jagged Mountain it almost sounds like they took excerpts from Beardfish's "Sleeping In Traffic: Part Two". If you ever listen to "Rise" you can also tell how Unruh even sings like Rikard Sjöblom.

"Rise" is not an essential album, but it is definitely worth listening to. Their are no weak tracks and many of the songs are worth a good 4 1/2 star rating. So give this album a shot and hopefully you'll enjoy it.

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 Rise by RESISTOR album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.89 | 118 ratings

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Rise
Resistor Crossover Prog

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

4 stars Rise is a CD full of exuberance, passion and demonstrates the sheer joy of playing good music

Resistor are a fabulous prog band that appeared out of nowhere and have made an indelible impression thanks to a severely non compromising approach to the music that blends heavy distorted guitar with clean vocals and mesmirising ambience. The notable thing that immediately hit me was the infectious melodies and the wonderful blend of traditional instruments with non traditional, especially the haunting violins and enchanting flute played so well by Steve Unruh. Steve also has easy to listen to vocals that are always a winner for me, reminiscent of Neal Morse's style. The bass guitar by Rob Winslow is profoundly understated, as are the drums that keep time in perfect syncopation well executed by Barry Farrands. Fran Turner is also prominent on guitar and together this quartet are able to generate some of the most compelling music I have heard in years.

The melodies are indeed easy to grasp onto and stay in the mind along with some of those lyrics. The Secret of the Open Sky is a 7 minute triumph that opens the album in a blaze of prog glory; I love the way the drums crash in on this track over a driving incessant heavy guitar motif. Masquerade is quite a jaunty melody driven song with a more mainstream sound; and then Spaceghetti follows, that is one of the best instrumentals I have heard in a long time; it just hooks into you and everytime I hear it, this lifts my spirit with it's estranged angular guitar riff, screeching violins and spacey sounds. You can tell the band are having fun here and are so accomplished as musicians, and experimental in this case, that you just want to come along for the ride. This tune really stayed with me for days after I heard this a few times.

Ether is a pleasant track, followed by the 16 minute mini epic Mimosa. This track is full of tranquil ambient passages with mystical flute and sweet violin and ascends to a crescendo with staccato blasts of guitar and drums. Then there is the quaint fun of a so called Side 2, in the vinyl tradition, though it is still the same CD, with a track called Changing Sides, basically a throwback to when you used to have to change the vinyl record over in the good old days. This prepares us for the massive epic The Land of No Groove.

This magnificent piece clocks in at 39:18 and at times one may forget that this is the same band as the first part of the CD. Resistor change tact here and go for an all out progressive onslaught. It is a captivating journey, and nowhere near as heavy as earlier tracks. The vocals are more subdued and even more spoken than sung, and it seems to work, though I prefer the singing of Unruh. The main soundscape is dominated with a wall of sound of all instruments combined with only the occasional blazing solo. I love the way the flute and guitar combine at times and it is an uplifting result. This is feel good music and reminds me of Transatlantic or Spock's Beard although a lot heavier in the guitar department. The epic is a type of satire of prog similar to what Jethro Tull did on their infamous album though more subtle that that. The story, if you can call it that, revolves around a group of burnt out musicians on the ultimate quest for good music, well they are tired of the lame music that is out there so why not, aren't we all? So they grab their instruments in their old kit bags and set off on this zany adventure; an odyssey that is rather odd you see, as they leave the land of no groove and eventually encounter a strange lost land of art. Do they eventually find good music there? You will have to refrain from being parsimonious and buy the CD to find out! They do encounter a sea monster in the traditional sense of Jason and the Argonauts or Sinbad, I guess, but the best thing about this epic are the surprises in the complex music that move in a myriad of directions. The actual CD booklet artwork depicts this journey and you can follow along on the map, if that's what floats your boat, though it is evident that the map is more hysterical than historical. It is a refreshing approach and I believe it cements the band into a definitive prog genre, even though they opt for a decidedly mainstream sound on a lot of their other songs. Perhaps Resistor sound like Rush in their mainstream phase more than anything on this epic and the track 2112 springs to mind when you hear this epic, a similar approach in any case.

The guitars are almost metal at times but it is never overbearing and this will appeal to those who like their music heavy but not to the point where it is aggressive. On the contrary the sound is fun and exuberant, full of passion and there is a true sense of the sheer joy of playing good music. The music at times has an edge of beauty and lulls you into a dream and then in the next instant the time sig changes to produce something that jars your senses; it is never dull or repetitive, but rather has innovative instrumental sections throughout. On each track, there are enough time signatures to keep any metronome on its toes, and the instruments are played with virtuoso style. I recommend a listen as it was a surprisingly well executed album from relative newcomers to the genre.

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Thanks to dean for the artist addition. and to Marty McFly for the last updates

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