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DeeExpus - The King of Number 33 CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

3.90 | 278 ratings

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Heavy Prog Team
4 stars A delightful prog rock offering, DeeExpus' "King of Number 33" continues the legacy of the band following the very interesting debut from 2008. The most important change is the addition of Mark Kelly on keyboards and his importance on the band's sound is pretty obvious on the tracks where he contributes.

Although Steve Wright appears on the line-up of that year, he only guests at the album, while the song-writing force continues to be the duo of Tony Wright and Andy Ditchfield. Half of the album is reserved for the 26+ minute, 6-part, title-track which shows some of the song-writing skills (and reveals some of the influences) of Ditchfield. With the exception of the Spock's Beard-influenced, "sweet"-sounding refrain whose melody returns from time to time, the rest of the song is a solid heavy piece with adequate variety on the mellower parts and doses of Neo-prog, resembling Haken and Dream Theater, boosted by the Marillion-esque keyboards of Kelly. The latter's high-point is definitely "Maybe September" where after a (rather long but beautiful) melodic introduction, the song is lifted to unimaginable heights with a powerful Neo-keyboard passage that carries it safely to conclusion. The follow-up from the instrumental "Marty and the Magic Moose" is simply stunning and along with the title track constitute a very strong middle section. Although not poor, the opening, Porcupine Tree-driven, rather simplistic, "Me and my Downfall" fails to impress, except for the instrumental passage following the second refrain, and the same applies to the (rather commercial-sounding) closing "Memo" with Nik Kershaw on lead vocals, who, nevertheless, gives a strong melodic performance.

The influence from Marillion is more than welcome in an album that balances very successfully on the heavy prog side (mostly influenced by later Porcupine Tree) and the Neo-prog injected by Kelly. The production is powerful and the whole package rather professional. Despite the small deviations from quality, the album as a whole leaves a feeling of satisfaction to the listener and flows freely, deserving not less than 3.5 stars (rounded upwards in this case).

Best moments: Maybe September, Marty and the Magic Moose, Accession

aapatsos | 4/5 |


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