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District 97 - Hybrid Child CD (album) cover


District 97


Crossover Prog

3.48 | 108 ratings

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3 stars A prog band featuring a former female American Idol finalist?Yes, that's the case with District 97 from Chicago, USA, found in 2006 by drummer Jonathan Schang, keyboardist Rob Clearfield, bassist Patrick Mulcahy and guitarist Sam Krahn, originally playing instrumental music, but the next year they proposed Leslie Hunt, a top 10 A.I. finalist, to join them on vocals.In 2008 Krahn leaves his place to Jim Tashjian, the band soon became a live beast and in 2010 they signed with the Laser's Edge label, that released the debut of the band ''Hybrid Child''.

The music of District 97 recalls the post-2000 sound of SPOCK'S BEARD, apparently scanning the fields of contemporary Progressive Rock with retro-styled structures, featuring quirky movements, powerful riffs, soaring synths and heavy organ breaks.The sound is very rich with plenty of great tempo changes and an impressive ability by the group to change from in-your-face guitar-led grooves and riffs to more symphonic- and vintage-sounding themes.Add a female vocalist with a young and clear voice, a good amount of careful melodies and a unique cellist, Katinka Kleijn, who delivers a few powerful string parts here and there, and you somewhat get the picture.The album even contains a very long epic track, divided in nine pieces, entitled ''Mindscan''.For the most of its part this is very nice music.Alternating between smoother soundscapes and more edgy passages, this one contains the basic components of District 97's musicianship with a touch of a more atmospheric approach.Angular guitar riffing, dominant cello, good vocals, sharp keyboards to go along with calm piano parts, spacey synths and grandiose textures, eventually creating a welcome 27-min. prog suite.

Very good debut, albeit a bit unpersonal.District 97 are a young and very tight group with lot of potential for the future.Recommended to a wide range of fans, from Symphonic Rock lovers to even die-hard Prog metallers.

apps79 | 3/5 |


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