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Mad Fellaz - Mad Fellaz III CD (album) cover

MAD FELLAZ III

Mad Fellaz

 

Eclectic Prog

3.98 | 119 ratings

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patrickq
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Released this past January, Mad Fellaz III is unselfconscious, professional, and very musical eclectic neo-prog from Italy. And did I say 'eclectic?' Definitely eclectic. The only Mad Fellaz I'd heard before was the fun, groovy instrumental 'Banda Scavejoni' ('longhair band' or 'hippie band') from their 2013 self-titled debut, so that's where my expectations were for this one. But halfway through my first listen, I had Mad Fellaz III pegged as a heavy-prog album, even if 'Leaf' was a little mellower. Certainly ''Es' / Frozen Side' and Liquid Bliss' were heavy, but it wasn't until later that recognized how 'Liquid Bliss' signaled that this album would have a decidedly jazzy aspect as well - - even if that jazziness would be integrated with some near-metal riffage, as on 'Frost' and over the last two minutes of 'Sweet Silent Oblivion.' On the whole, if 'eclectic prog' is by definition an approach rather than a genre, I'd classify the album as 'neo-prog,' especially since there are some of the symphonic touches (such as on 'Under These Clouds') that often mark that genre. But here's an unusual case where I think 'eclectic' is the best label.

I've struggled with choosing between three and four stars for this album. Generally, to decide on a rating, I think about an album's performances, production, and compositions. The performances on Mad Fellaz III are top-notch, the sound quality and production are great, and the compositions are quite good, but good enough for four stars? Who knows - - I may change my mind in the future. But I've erred on the side of four stars because of how well the eclecticism is carried out - - specifically, how smooth the transitions are from one style to the next.

In a nutshell, Mad Fellaz III is a fun album. Its running time of three-quarters of an hour is perfect, its energy is palpable, and musically, the playing is very tight but not at all uptight. I'd suggest that any fan of prog rock give this one a listen.

patrickq | 4/5 |

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