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The Samurai Of Prog - Lost And Found CD (album) cover

LOST AND FOUND

The Samurai Of Prog

 

Crossover Prog

3.74 | 116 ratings

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stefro
Prog Reviewer
3 stars Formed during the recording of the Colossus Records/Musea various artists project 'Dante's Divine Comedy'(just one in a series of themed concept albums focusing on classical musical works and/or books) The Samurai Of Prog are a three-man collective who work in pretty much the same way as The Alan Parsons Project, with the core trio doing the bulk of writing and recording, whilst guest artists, some rather impressive, fill the gaps. Based in Finland, TSOP consists of Italian Marco Bernard, American Steve Unruh and local lad Kimmo Porsti, and since debuting have issued some seven full-length albums. And I mean full length. That's because your typical TSOP album usually clocks in at around 100 minutes, some times longer, and there is no shortage of full-on, symphonic, 1970's- style progressive rock to be had. Ever. Whilst earlier albums consisted of a mixture of original material and cover versions, later efforts, such as this 2016 effort, are completely original, and boy do Marco, Steve and Kimmo dig their classic prog. Clocking in at just under two hours, 'Lost & Found' is a beast of an package. Timewise, it's the other side of epic, and that's before you've begun to tackle the second disc, which features 'The Demise', a gloriously OTT epic which lasts a full fifty-seven minutes plus. Back in the day, artists who count as TSOP's major influences, the likes of Yes, Gentle Giant and Greenslade, were restricted by the amount of good-quality material you could fit on an album-length LP. Nowadays, that problem is no more, and group's like TSOP have taken the format from one extreme to another. Now, there is almost no limit to how long you want your prog epics to be, and as a result, you get albums like 'Lost & Found'. But, is it any good? Well, in technical terms, it's clear Bernard, Unruh and Portsi are all fine musicians, and there ability to attract some top European prog talent can be counted as bonus. In the 1970's and 1980's, Alan Parsons and Ed Woolfenden utilised the same formula, and a number of established rock and pop players, to enhance their albums content, and for the most part it worked well. On 'Lost & Found', TSOP are backed by ex-Pavlov's Dog guitarist Steve Scorfina, Unitopia vocalist Mark Trueack and former Glass Hammer frontman Jon Davison, to name a few, but the bulk of the instrumental work is carried about by the main threesome. The music is inventive, crisply-played and wonderfully-light, but also overly-slick, with the group's reliance of computer-generated sounds sometimes distracting from the album's overall feel. 'Lost & Found' is a throwback to the age of the 1970's, but sounds too much like an album made in the 2010's. The major problem, however, is of course the length. This is an album that could have easily been half-as-long and just0-as-good, if not better. The Disc Two track 'The Demise' is relentlessly overbearing, despite a strong start, and after 25mins most listeners would have surely run out of patience. In the end, 'Lost & Found' is the kind of album that deserves praise for it's sheer ambition and vision. Bernard, Unruh & Porsi are true modern prog titans. It's just some of us like our prog a little less titan-esque. Rich, elegant and full of strong musical performancea, this is still prime progressive rock, though it takes a stong will and plenty of spare time to sit through in it's entirety. STEFAN TURNER, STOKE NEWINGTON, 2019
stefro | 3/5 |

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