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Violet District - Terminal Breath (+ Live Munich 1996) CD (album) cover


Violet District



3.68 | 35 ratings

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James Lee
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Don't be fooled by the 1992 release date- this album sounds so 80's that you should flip your collar up while listening. Not that it's bad, mind you; if neo-prog is your bag, then definitely give this a shot. I was personally reminded less of IQ and PENDRAGON than of "Power Windows"-era RUSH (or occasionally of Rabin-era YES), but for most folks that will just be splitting hairs.

One might say VIOLET DISTRICT makes itself right at home in prog, rather than charting any truly interesting new territory. The music flows with thick distorted lead guitar and tinkling synths and is more than capable of sweeping the listener away. The vocals can be somewhat distracting in the midst of the generally effective instrumental atmospherics, but are typically competent and appropriate- especially if you like German heavy rock singers. Think of a less anthemic COLLAGE, and you'll be spot on (okay, they're Polish, but the resemblance is still quite striking to me).

I can't find it in myself to either praise this album highly nor criticize it much (a near-perfect example of a 3 star score). It's not really my kind of prog, nor will it appeal to the jazz or virtuoso fetishists (let alone the harcore classic prog fans), but I can see the MARILLION/ PALLAS segment easily warming to its virtues, and the prog-metal crowd may even be able to enjoy it during a more relaxed mood. There's a slightly synthetic crystal-clear quality, instantly recognizable to anyone who lived through the 80s- somewhere between the more adventurous hard rock and the better pop (U2 and THE POLICE are obvious references). Whether this sound is an immediate turn-off or not will pretty much determine your willingness to appreciate what "Terminal Breath" actually has to offer.

James Lee | 3/5 |


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