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Kopecky - Orion CD (album) cover

ORION

Kopecky

 

Heavy Prog

3.04 | 7 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
3 stars 3.5 stars really!!!

Live album from this Baltimore group and a fairly good recap of their career until now. This Czech-sounding group is one of those many instrumental groups flooding the prog markets since the prog revival, and these guys sure do know how to play their instruments. This trio is so good that they often sound like they are a few more, even if a lot of it is due to Joe, the guitarist that often strays into semi-metal territories. Yes the music is rather complex, often changing tempo and the time sigs are anything but complacent for any of the three musos. While their music is rather impressive, it is also true that halfway into the album, I have saturated already. Musically not far from later Djam Karet or Nebelnest, but also Colosseum II mating with Wetton-era Crimson (Asbury Park improv), the music is often impressive, but rarely interesting, because these tracks have been heard many times before them and many times since them.

While there are many excellent moments (the start of Heaven's Black Amnesia for example), the virtuosity of the trio is always on the verge of being indulgent but somehow always stops before crossing the line. One of the thing that I find lacking to make their music more interesting is a singer, because let's face it, outside the odd track that has its own distinguishable feel, it is rather hard to know exactly where you are in terms of songs. But the overall feel of jazz rock (almost jazz-metal if you can picture that >> check out Autumn Swirl or the start of Sky-Blue Hair) is not unwelcome either, even if this is only one of the many facets that keeps you interested long enough until the laser reaches the outside of the Cd.

Nothing really groundbreaking (well they are a bit uncommon, though) or fascinating (too repetitive in the long run), but I much prefer this type of group to others like the Tangent where everything smells calculated. On the strength of this album, Kopecky could easily be on the great Cuneiform label, and believe, from this proghead, this is a compliment.

Sean Trane | 3/5 |

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