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Ines - The Flow CD (album) cover

THE FLOW

Ines

 

Neo-Prog

3.75 | 22 ratings

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tszirmay
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars 8 years old already and still no review! Schade! To make matters worse, this is a delightful recording full of wondrous material, suavely played and well metered. The immediacy is somewhat veiled as it doesn't quite leap onto the prog jugular but prefers slowly permeating the brain and leaving a positive impression. As the title overtly implies, the chosen theme here is the innocuous power of the river and its imperial "flow". Ines Fuchs is a talented keyboardist very much in the Tony Banksian frame of mind, with strong "art-rock" leanings (Simple Minds, Roxy Music etc.) ,her hubby Hansi Fuchs generates guitar accompaniment along with three ex-Asgard members, the solid Chicco Grosso on plaintive vocals, guitarist Max Michieletto , his brother Marco on drums and the fluid bass and stick from Italian Davide Piai. "Feel the River's Dance" begins promisingly with a masterful melody, grand team playing, fascinating backing vocals and a truly unyielding prog-rock song. "The River & Me" sounds almost like a segue , as it "flows" into a slightly harder edged tone , tempered by some superb violin work, the solo is incredibly gifted, a more subdued keyboard flight , more stellar backing vocals and a indescribable feeling of quality music played with genuine emotion. "In a Space Made of Blue" develops a swirling keyboard surge, with dense ethereal atmospherics, another superb air sung with conviction by Grosso, the chorus particularly effective, albeit using simple lyrics to convey that message of constant flux. A short guitar solo brings this to a gentle conclusion. The first of three brief interludes, all possessing the title "Flow" , ushers in a strong accordion-led Gaelic romp that fits masterfully, raunchy guitars and a twist of hurdy-gurdy for good measure thrown into the drum-infested fray. "I'm Part of the River" is a semi-cinematographic snapshot that is launched by a massive mellotron cascade, a brief synth motif and owning a slight Middle Eastern/Turkish feel that evokes adventure and fantasy. The mood is contemplative but bold and fits well into the overall scheme of things. "After All These Moves" gushes splendidly along, a dreamy and reflective chorus with a huge harmonious hook, Grosso proving that he can handle the vocal spotlight like an battleship admiral steering the convoy. When the colossal drums kick in, the piece evolves into an ocean of symphonics that is hard not to admire. "Downhill" sails much more upbeat with a nearly poppy rudder, a fast moving raft negotiating the torrents, it's a good track but nowhere near the same enchantment as previously expressed above. An immense mellotron squall introduces "Stranded", a quirky arrangement that barely hides a mature melody, some fabulous Celtic pipes blaring beyond the waves, Grosso delivering a somewhat huge Jim Kerr (Simple Minds) vocal impression that is wholly convincing, a thunderclap of synth and this oceanic premise navigates along, lost temporarily in the mist. "Flow 2" has an almost South African touch, accordion ablaze with some suave violin, spiced up with some persuasive percussion and a nice outro vocal plaint. "On the Shore" offers some more Celtic illuminations, buoyed with some sensational Chapman Stick work, breezy keyboard exertions and a mammoth main vocal theme that is breathlessly performed , aided and abated by some willful flute decorations as a guitar solo torpedo effortlessly breaks through the water. This could easily have fitted onto "the Titanic" movie's soundtrack. "Flow 3" is the instrumental highlight here and my favorite track, a pulsating sea of dense atmospherics (a hint of Watcher of the Skies), with heavy keyboard waves, rippling guitar crests, shark-like drumming and a robust Piai stick solo to drown for! The ensuing 6 string fret solo is a short but devastating tsunami of emotion. "The Place by the Sea" is a diminutive track that has the pipes hearken back to the call of the sea, a bright and passionate vocal dance that swells with joyous abandon, as the accordion adds another playful dimension to the overall "flow". "Wishing Well" is the longest track here , clocking in at over 6 and half minutes, an appropriate piano-led send-off that incorporates all the preceding qualities that make this such a surprising addition to any music collection. A languorous instrumental waves us goodbye as the river hits the sea. This is an album well worth prospecting and salvaging from the shallow depths of the prog riverbed. The pan sometimes finds nuggets of gold, this is certainly one of them. 4.5 affluent floods
tszirmay | 4/5 |

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