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Lobate Scarp - Spirals and Portals CD (album) cover


Lobate Scarp


Crossover Prog

3.06 | 7 ratings

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2 stars Lobate Scarp is a Crossover Prog band from the US, founded in 2006. In 2012, the band released an ambitious album called 'Time and Space', what they describe as a space opera that featured a cast of over 50 musicians, if you count the choir. Other than this album, the only other two recordings are both EPs

In September of 2019, the band released their 2nd, 4 track EP called 'Spirals and Portals'. There is once again, quite a large cast of musicians and performers for this EP. It starts off with 'Nothing Wrong' (6:56). The spooky sound of a slow developing introduction is accented by a dilruba, and eventually vocals come in and the music finally settles into a mid-tempo track that is quite straightforward except for a few progressive fills here and there. There is some stellar guitar and violin work mixed in with synths during the instrumental break, but the straightforward sound hardly gets interrupted. The chorus is also quite repetitive. With all of the voices and instruments, it all still seems like there is nothing really outstanding going on here. 'And We Tried' (7:31) is a much slower and softer track. It's an okay melody, which eventually picks up tempo a bit, but again, it's all quite straightforward. Adam Sears' vocals are really not that dynamic either, though they are okay to listen to, but again, about as average as the music. There are less musicians involved on this track, but quite honestly, you would probably not notice. As before, there are some good guitar and synth fills, but even the increase of intensity later on in the track really doesn't do much to up the energy level.

'Beautiful Light' (6:00) brings in more musicians again. The music is again mellow, full of acoustic guitar and synths that try to evoke expansiveness. There is a use of strings again, but they are not utilized very well, and don't really stand out much. They even brings in woodwinds to try for a symphonic prog style, and utilize the extra singers to make an attempt at rock opera styles, but they fail at both. The melody is uninteresting and a bit corny. This EP ends with a 'radio edit' of 'Nothing Wrong' (5:11). Nothing different here, just less meandering in the introduction, the singing starts earlier.

This EP is a good example that tracks over 6 minutes, fancy album artwork, and a host of musicians and guests don't make music progressive, nor does it make a mediocre song any more interesting. The 'cast of musicians' just don't make the music anymore interesting, so unfortunately for the band, all of the extras are nothing but filler. You can't make music more interesting by adding more people or by repeating lyrics to make a song longer. These things do not a progressive band make. It's all just much ado about nothing.

TCat | 2/5 |


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