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Rational Diet - Rational Diet CD (album) cover


Rational Diet



3.95 | 45 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
4 stars This eponymous album id Rational Diet's third since the start of the millennium, and their expanded line-up (now a sextet) play a seldom-developed Zeuhlian-laced RIO (along with a few guest musicians) that comes between Univers Zero and Art Zoyd and can be easily fitted in the chamber rock mould. This album is a compilation of their previous two releases.

In no small part, their RIO-sound is very much due to Appow's bassoon (mixed unusually loud), but Putschina's cello is also very present (perfectly complementary of Christya's violin), their music is entirely acoustic and apart from three centre tracks, mainly instrumental, the vocals including some "texts by the Russian Avant-garde poets Daniil Charms and Alexei Kruchemykh", but those vocals are sufficiently weird to give an original slant to their music. Particularly impressive in the second half of Order From Horses, where the group pulls quite a tight performance, grooving insanely to an indecently complex rhythm pattern. The two-part From The Grey Notebook, book-ending the album, is another biggie, especially in its closing section, as those weird vocals give the listener the envy to replay the album. While I have difficulty finding all of the influences they boldly state (see the opening page on this site), I can definitely hear Shostakovich, Ives, Univers Zero, Present, Debile Menthol and the unmentioned early-Art Zoyd.

While I wouldn't call Rational Diet a vulgar clone band (like all too often the case in other areas of prog rock), it is clear that they wear their influences a bit to openly to be truly taken at face value. But RD does manage to bring their own sensibilities to their brand of RIO, so they might just be considered as still quite creative while having a retro-sound, a bit like Anglagard in Symphonic prog and Volaré in Canterbury prog in the 90's. In spite of those all-too-obvious influences, RD's third albums is much worth a listen, partly due to its quaint Russians-sung vocals, bringing in a special flavour that allows it to stand on its own.

Sean Trane | 4/5 |


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