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Spaced Out - Evolution CD (album) cover


Spaced Out


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.92 | 45 ratings

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5 stars Spaced Out's 5th studio album sounds just like it's cover, like some sort of mysterious misunderstood leviathan cautiously creeping from a deep slumber. Evolution's fire-breathing atmospheric fusion stylings on this, their fifth album, are saturated with mindboggling combinations of dark bass melodies, harmonizations, polyrythms, manic double kick drumming, angry synths and screaming guitars. Definitely not dinner music or music for elevators even though the CD booklet notes suggest otherwise.

This is a dangerous album that doesn't let up for one nano second. After discovering their 2003 album Slow Gin, I thought to myself "well, this is it. The final plateau in fusion has finally been crossed, I can throw in the towel and move on with my life". I was so wrong when the next monstrosity, Unstable Matter, appeared in 2006 followed by this 2008 crontrivance. Even though all the music ( as on previous Spaced Out albums ) was composed, arranged and written by Université de Montréal music graduate and bass maestro Antoine Fafard, on Evolution all the parts were distributed to the individual players, Marc Tremblay ( guitar ), Marc Maheux ( drums ) Éric St. Jean ( keyboards ) and Alex Argento ( keyboards ) and recorded separately with the resulting frankenstein being a testimony to the massive talent that is present here. Spaced Out's is so difficult to categorize that even Fafard himself has difficulty defining it himself calling it " everything-but-the-kitchen-sink " type music. I've heard it referred to as prog metal, metal fusion as well as a number of other hybrids. Whatever it is it ignores all musical conventions.

The two most down to earth tracks( if you can call them that ) are Octavium and Replication Junction are the closest that the album comes to " traditional " jazz / rock fusion but are still what jazz purists nightmares are made of. My personal favourite is the furious " Furax II " that features some spectacular double handed bass tapping from Fafard that gives way to more conventional lines and then more insane double handed bass tapping . It is also the heaviest & most metallisque track on the album that features guitarist Tremblay at the top of his game with some crazy shredding. " Nemesis " is also along these lines with a ca. 1970s Chick Corea-like keyboard solo from Éric St Jean who has been with Fafard since the beginning of Spaced Out. All the instrumental tracks have cool abstract names that are one way in another tied into the general theme of growth and progress.

The only reservation I would have about the album would be that, even though it is well structured compositionally wise it tends to go off the deep end on the technical side at times. Just a bit ( sarcasm ). If you haven't checked these guys out yet and you're into bands like Liquid Tension Experiment, Planet X or any late seventies Alan Holdsworth then this is definitely not to be missed and could arguably be the best of it's genre going ( another album is on the way as this is written ). Let's go for 5 stars on the evolutionary scale for Spaced Out's Evolution. A modern jazz / metal / rock fusion masterpiece.

Vibrationbaby | 5/5 |


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