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Neural Mass - The Unbreakable Aqua-Mask of Europa  CD (album) cover


Neural Mass


Crossover Prog

3.00 | 3 ratings

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3 stars Five years after the questionable sound of ''Descent into the lower world'' Neural Mass returned with a second album ''The unbreakable aqua-mask of Europa''.But this time they worked on the recordings as a duo with Gary X Floyd playing the keyboards, bass synth, flute and clarinet and Sylvain Rodrigue on drums, percussions and lead vocals, while he was also the lyricist of the project.Francis Lafortune is the only other person involved in the album, providing the guitar parts on ''The lamp''.

It seems that Neural Mass worked better as a duo than a normal group of musicians, as ''The unbreakable aqua-mask of Europa'' is a much more consistent and focused effort than their debut.The opening 10-min. long title-track sets the tone of the whole album, a mixture of MASTERMIND symphonic organs and marching drums with low-key psychedelic Electronic Music, flavored by narration parts and cosmic atmospheres.There are specific tracks, which also remind me of GIZMO during the early-80's, gothic and groovy New Wave/Electronic/Prog, which even flirts with DEPECHE MODE and NICK CAVE at moments.But the majority of the album is synth- or organ-drenched Psych/Prog, which even recalls a modern version of French legends CATHARSIS.The music is highly rhythmic with alternations between monster organ parts and spacious synthesizers with Rodrigue providing a huge spark of energy with his drumming and the result being a sinister, mostly instrumental and keyboard-centered Prog Rock.The more contemporary and floating pieces in the end are closer to the Electronic works of SHAMALL with strange loops and cosmic experiments, but the stuff remains fairly dark and atmospheric.Good thing was definitely the duo's limited stylistical range with Floyd and Rodrigue focusing on keyboard-based soundscapes with psychedelic and symphonic themes.''The jupiter'' is the only weak track, an effort on humouristic, jazzy-flavored Piano Music with a tasteless result.

The true, decent beginning of Neural Mass into Progressive Rock.Odd keyboard-based, contemporary Psych/Prog/Electronic with some nice experimentations and great soundscapes.Recommended.

apps79 | 3/5 |


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