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Kinetic Element - Travelog CD (album) cover


Kinetic Element



3.91 | 103 ratings

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5 stars KINETIC ELEMENT is a US group out of Richmond, Virginia. They've just released the new opus, and it should not disappoint. Actually, CD 'Travelog' embodies the style of classic progressive rock, yet with a contemporary slant. In the first instance, I would like to name some evident references, including Yes, ELP, Genesis, Kansas, Glass Hammer, Vertical Alignment and Spock's Beard. Versus to the debut offering ('Powered by Light' - 2009), the line-up of KE has slightly changed. Mark Tupko adds his bass courtesy, while the core still consists of Mike Visaggio (keyboards), Todd Russell (guitars) and Michael Murray (drums, percussion, whistling). Granted, a huge asset for the music is the introduction of three guest vocalists who complement all proceedings. So let's elaborate... A challenging 'War Song' made the most sense as the album opener. This 20+ min. epic combines a lot of kaleidoscopic details, surprising twists and turns, signatures and instrumental parts that walk their enthralling route forward. Creating the majestic feast, Mike Visaggio integrates Korg, Mellotron and Roland, never dull to listen to. The guitar master Todd Russell is nothing short of gorgeous. The rhythm section tends to get a percolating undercurrent. Worthy of note is the languid voice of Dimetrius LaFavors. Next up, the title track which employs a degree of subtlety and launches the finger- picking acoustic guitar performance to recall Steve Hackett. The middle section is a ballad type in terms of subject matter, accompanied by the vocals. The third serving, pleasant and sensuous 'Into the Lair', can be matched with the astral moments in Yes catalogue. There are echoes of Steve Howe and Rick Wakeman for certain stretches, supported by immaculate bass a'la Chris Squire. The hypnotic chant perfectly tunes to the arrangements - Michelle Schrotz succeeds in vocal excursion, tending to evoke Jon Anderson. The band follows this up with 'Her'. The undulating keyboards find Kinetic Element in near Tony Banks mode. As the song progresses, characteristics lead to a more pompous territory. To settle back into swirling circles, sophisticated 'Vision of a New Dawn (18+ min) brings another monumental mix of floating melodic lines, transitions and chord changes. The pattern of symphonic prog rock is present throughout with excellent placement of accents. It's a great finish for the standout CD!
PH | 5/5 |


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