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DeeExpus - Far From Home CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

4.06 | 24 ratings

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4 stars Deeexpus's live in Poland is quite an achievement for a debutante band on its first album and from the opening snow-plow heavy 'prog 'Greed' , the general impression is where has my jaw fallen? Darn, I need my mouth to talk! Well, my fingers will do all the work; at least they have been left intact! All the musicians impress mightily, bass monster Ian Raine looks utterly menacing, keyboardist Marc Jolliffe quite the contrary, while Andy Ditchfield and Steve Wright interlock their fretboards convincingly. Drumster Kev Jager pummels his kit with complete abandon and vocalist Tony Wright sings like the wind. What can be more pleasing?

'Pttee' is a barely veiled homage to Porcupine Tree, possessing the same clanging contrasts between groove psychedelia, raging electric onslaughts and tight rhythms. The prowess is deafening, between Ditchfield burning up the guitar and the pooling of achingly beautiful emotions, deftly portrayed by the hearty lead vocalist.

'One 8' is where their ability to craft lush symphonics comes to the forefront, a talented vision of melody, deep felt passion and structural instrumentalism. From the initial pastoral serenity painted by puerile piano tappings, the sweet lullaby begins to take shape and penetrate profoundly into the bliss. Suddenly as expected, the mood turns slowly more aggressive and then outright speedy, axes ablaze and riffing hard and fast, Raine pushing it all along like a death-metal he-man (he looks the part, too). A Wishbone Ash-like dual guitar barrage will undoubtedly elate the fans of such parallel forces at work.

'Pointless Child' is even more sedate, a sadly distressing affair, with mortal lyrics and a deadly chorus, using multiple backing vocals with guitars unafraid to buzz in the background. Breezy, crystalline and vibrant. The sing-along qualities are nothing to pooh- pooh, it's plain exhilarating! Loopy synths and all.

'Red' (no, not the KC song) is an original non-album comp that succeeds astrally, wonder why it never made it to record as it's a lovely slice of classic British prog, with all the usual suspects ingrained within the fabric of the song. Soulful singing and elegant accompaniment, flayed first by a terrific organ rumble, vibrating merrily and then slain by a driving axe solo full of vigor and sizzle. A colossal wave finale sets this one down to rest, Raine and Jager really punishing.

They finish off their brief opening slot of a multiple billing in Katowice with the bold, daring and epic 17 minute piece 'Half Way Home', a soon-to-be prog classic. In keeping with the theme of tragedy and despair, the subject is suicide, never an easy narrative but an epidemic nevertheless that has plagued humanity since time immemorial. This epic has all the adornments and grandiosity one could ask for but in a modern, hard-hitting format. The wah-wah pedal is used a la Steve Wilson, crashing, careening and carving crazily. Then, starkly, the forlorn mood is elevated by tape effects of an academic narration, gloomily morphing into rage, confusion and anger. Raine presses boldly on his chubby bass. Jager hits 'em hard between the eyes.

Encore, you ask? The sleeping beauty '7 Nights' puts all this magical music in perspective, entirely entertaining and riveting, wielding a huge chorus and some slithery synthesizer playing. A highlight track that has all the goods in spades (clubs, hearts and diamonds too), amazing on the debut disc and even better live! There is that unmistakable Level 42 vibe mentioned in my album review,

Knowing that 2 other more established bands were to follow, (Overhead and RPWL) the crowd showed amazing enthusiasm for the effort, a sure sign of impacting the unexpectant crowd and forging a future career. the band genuinely enjoyed themselves and the crowd. seeing is believing , what a talent here!

The slick package comes with a full CD version, bonus tracks, band interview and extra video. Yup! A star is born!

4.5 rest areas

tszirmay | 4/5 |


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