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TravelHouse - Mind Mapping CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

3.44 | 9 ratings

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3 stars TRAVELHOUSE stands for excellent progressive instrumental music. This project from Bulgaria is consisting of musicians which are working together for nearly ten years. 'Mind Mapping' is their first progressive rock production and was composed by mastermind Kalin Tonev in 2006. The album holds some surprises, offers a special blend of styles which I wasn't aware of before. This is not retro, provided with a new electronica touch. The vibe of some songs reminds me of Hungarian bands (not far away though geographically). A Guru In Love for example gets similiar to the sound of Korai Öröm or Sonar with a tribal grooving fundament. Less psychedelic on the other hand because guitarist Biser Ivanov is hailing from a fusion and metal origin stylistically.

Except on two songs the rhythmic backbone is the result of Tonev's programming qualities. However - somewhat unusual for the drums because Pavel Milenov is said to be a full band member. But it works - at least for Travels With A Son Of A Gun and Keeping The House: Neutron III, fitted out with a repetitive hypnotizing mood, triphop/breakbeat styled mainly caused by the halting rhythm. Cosmic spacey synths and the contrasting guitar, metal riffing as well as jazzy, this combination makes the songs very very interesting - a haunting output!

The opener Route No.1 shows another facet of the band - besides the metal edged guitar Tonev's organ work marks a nice symphonic episode as for the contrary. Black Coffee Mornings appeals to me - probably the most charming song. The special happy flavour, the groove - and on top of it some Holdsworth leanings are included. Dark Gentleman is containing some darker laid back ambient impressions. A special blend of prog metal and fusion is presented by the rocking bonus track Archived Travels: Neutron II which immediately brings Derek Sherinian's project Planet X into my mind.

TRAVELHOUSE is successful by combining electronic, fusion and prog metal elements on 'Mind Mapping'. The band has worked out an interesting album with variety and a modern touch mainly because of the high proportion of electronica - 3.5 stars.

Rivertree | 3/5 |


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