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Jadis - No Fear Of Looking Down CD (album) cover





3.66 | 54 ratings

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Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Jadis first release since the excellent See Right Through You (2012). The stakes were high since that was their best album since 2000´s Understand , and we all wondered if Gary Chandler and company would come up with something as powerful and refreshing after a few not so good records before SRTY (although the band never did put out a bad record). At first I was not really convinced by No Fear Of Looking Down: it sounded different and I was not sure if I liked what I was listening. But from the second spin on it was clear that the new stuff was every bit as good as the previous one. I guess it was a good thing that they did not want to repeat themselves.

The song structures, bar the first track, Listen To Me, which could have been in See Right Through It, are indeed different, sometimes plowing fields that Jadis have never venture before, like the obvious celtic sounds of the instrumental Change Of The Season. But careful observations show that Chandler´s trademark guitar sounds are still all around the album. He overdubs a lot of those making some fine patterns of sounds together with subtle and delicate keyboards on the background. And that´s what really makes the record so great: he has a unique style that always set Jadis apart. Some people will say this band is not really "progressive" due the lack of more symphonic keys and things like that, but prog music was always about going further away from the run-of-the-mill music of the moment and that´s exactly what this band does: they sound like no one else. And that´s something a lot of other more "progressive" bands try so hard for years and years and never seems to get (Glass Hammer and The Watch come to mind, but there are many more).

The good news are that the compositions are inspired, strong and there is no filers. Great melodies and clever arrangements. And Martin Orford (of IQ fame) is back to the fold. The bad news: it seems that he just guested on this album, it´s not a permanent come back. In any case he adorns the music with his keyboards, his harmony vocals skills and sometimes with his flute. As usual, the production is very good and the performances are impeccable. I dont´think any track really stands out that much, since the track list is very well balanced and all the songs are very good. When I listen to it, I listen it from beginning to end with the same pleasure. This is surely one of my top ten albums of 2016.

Conclusion: if you´re a fan of Jadis, go for it! It may sound a little different at first, but you´ll be rewarded with repeated spins. If you´re not familiar with this great band, this is a good place to start to know one of the most interesting, unique and subtle prog bands that are around for more than 20 years. Recommended!

Tarcisio Moura | 4/5 |


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