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Explorers Club - Age Of Impact CD (album) cover


Explorers Club


Heavy Prog

3.67 | 127 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
4 stars I am generally quite sceptical about newer Prog bands and I usually stick with the classic bands of the 70's. The presence here of my hero Steve Howe on acoustic guitar was the primary reason for me checking this out. But I also knew Terry Bozzio's great drumming from UK, as well as the people from Dream Theater. Howe's impact on the music here turned out to be quite minimal, but I don't mind that since what I found was a great modern Prog album. Indeed, together with Dream Theater's Images And Words this is possibly the best album by a newer band that I have ever heard!

Explores Club is obviously a project strongly inspired by the classic Prog bands of the 70's (some of which some participants here belong(ed); Yes, UK). But while Explorers Club clearly belongs to a genre and tradition, I do not find them derivative. At least not in the blatant sense of so many Neo Prog and Prog Metal bands trying to sound exactly like their older heroes. The presence of legends like Howe and Bozzio lends this project some legacy often lacking in most newer Prog bands. Explorers Club manages to create a sound of their own; informed by the classics, but not copying them.

There is a slight metal sound and feeling on several passages but much less so than in Dream Theater. The sound of Age Of Impact has nothing to do with the 80's and 90's Trash metal that said band would lean so heavily towards on most of their post-Images And Words albums. Surprisingly, there is also sometimes an almost New Age or World Music influence on this album! Some parts of the second "impact" sounding a bit like Mike Oldfield with (moderately used) programmed drums and some exotic percussion. This feels fresh and sounds interesting to my ears.

The five "impacts" are basically one long, 50 minute + song. Bass, guitar, drums and keyboards are all excellently played. And the vocals and lyrics are very good too. The guitar surprisingly sometimes sounds a bit like Allan Holdsworth on some parts. The balance between electric and acoustic guitars is very good and there are also some other instruments, like a Jethro Tull-like flute solo at one point!

Age Of Impact actually made an impact on me and I consider it one of the best newer Prog albums (i.e. albums not from the late 60's to early 80's)

Highly recommended!

SouthSideoftheSky | 4/5 |


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