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4 stars Last November, FUSONIC was suggested to the Symphonic Team by the site monitors, after listening a couple samples I was totally unimpressed but convinced they had to be added because their style is clearly Symphonic, something with what my team members agreed, so being that here was little information, sent a mail to the band and Ronald Hoogwout replied sending a short bio and offering me a copy of their debut CD "Desert Dreams", which I accepted more as courtesy than real conviction, because it reminded me of CAMEL, a band that I don't like.

So, a couple days ago received the album and placed it on the car stereo to listen it in the way to my work, and my opinion changed dramatically, what I first found unimpressive turned into beautiful Space Symphonic music with PINK FLOYD and FOCUS influences, peaceful, relaxing, but at the same time well elaborate and dramatic (I simply love dramatic music)

Unlike most bands rooted in classic Symphonic of the 70's, the guitar by "Teo" has a preeminent role. His style is very peculiar sounding like a blend of David Gilmour and Jan Akkerman, skilled but more worried of creating thick atmospheres than in shredding, in other words, a musician that plays for the band rather than for his own glory, as Steve Hackett did on GENESIS.

"Harry Ickelsheimer" plays keyboards and bass contributing to create that almost spiritual spacey sound that suits so perfectly with the music, but we shouldn't forget the important contribution of his piano and synth solos that add those dramatic changes that every Prog band requires.

The tro is completed by "Ronald Hoogwout" who has a perfect timing and even when the music of the album doesn't allow power drumming, is obvious that his technique is impeccable, almost a human metronome.

The band is completefd by the guest musician Sjak Franssen who adds extra keyboards.

Usually I make song by song reviews, but in the case of FUSONIC I won't, being that the album is a complete piece of wok that must be heard from start to end as a complete entity rather than divide it by parts.

Despite this fact, some tracks impressed me a bit more than te rest, ilike the opener "Beyond Music", "Yellow Horses, the absolutely delightful "Fata Morgana" and the impressive closer "New Feelings", but again, the album must be heard as an integral 74 minutes composition, because only in this way makes perfect coherence.

Normally I have problems when rating the albums, not in this case, because the quality of the performance and extreme beauty of the music deserve no less than four solid stars.

Report this review (#353487)
Posted Wednesday, December 15, 2010 | Review Permalink
3 stars I got this album from the band many moons ago and I been listening to it on and off since then.

I have to admit Fusonic's brand of symphonic prog is not the one I normally enjoy most. Their music is a mix of fusion and the likes of Camel with influences from new-age combos like Jeremy and Clearlight. A lot of new-age influences, I am afraid. The music is guitar driven with long electric guitar passages which winds itself through some pretty pedestrian melody lines. Inbetween this, we also get some piano driven and acoustic guitar meditation pieces. There is no vocals on this album. The guitars is the leading instrument here and meditation is preferred instead of technical brilliance and quirky time shifts. There is none of the latter here. I would compare listening to this album as a roadtrip over the Sahara desert or even a roadtrip over the prairie in the USA.

That's describes the music. Over to the quality bit.

The quality of the music here is good throughout and even great if this is your type of music. I have to declare a luke warm interest in this type of music. Camel is not my favorite band. But I still find this album very good at places, but also pretty dull in some places too. This is a debut album though and Fusonic has shown a lot of talent and guts on this album. I would most definate put this band on a list of bands well worth keeping an eye on while declaring this album as a good album which does deliver up to a certain point but not beyond that point.

3 stars

Report this review (#376920)
Posted Sunday, January 9, 2011 | Review Permalink
Conor Fynes
2 stars 'Desert Dreams' - Fusonic (4/10)

Banal might be the best way to describe my impression towards this album by prog rock newcomers Fusonic. Perhaps most influenced by the bands Camel and Pink Floyd, Fusonic is a group that focuses more on being laid back than impressing their listener with technical wizardry. In a way, this is a refreshing change of pace from the typical revivalist prog act of nowadays, who tend to sacrifice their feeling and warmth in exchange for cerebral achievement. Fusonic is a band that is certainly saying something with their music, yet I cannot say that they are doing it all that well.

At seventy-plus minutes- quite long for a debut- Fusonic jams away with a ton of brief and rather harmless tunes that each sound like they could be the soft, gentle part of a larger epic. Of course, none of these instrumentals enjoy that context. Instead, one after another, Fusonic plays slow to mid-tempo jam rock, led by some pleasant lead guitars. The drums and keyboard are here to provide a backdrop for the guitar work of Teo. It's a somewhat boring formula, but Teo's leads are rather enchanting. Sometimes, there are even melodic hooks that Teo crafts with his leads. I would rarely call his work here 'soloing', due to the fact that it is almost constant, and aims to be gentle, rather than showy. Had Teo simply shredded away- and his skills imply he certainly can- I don't think 'Desert Dreams' would have been even a modest success. On the other hand, a little more vivace to the leads could have made for a more interesting trip.

While the lead guitar is the main dish that Fusonic offers on 'Desert Dreams', the most appetizing thing that they offer is actually the piano, which gets a little more room to breathe than the quiet synth. The pianos here shine more than any other instrument in terms of feeling, including the guitars. Best demonstrated on the final track and highlight 'New Feelings', I feel like Fusonic has got some real potential to work with, and the pianos best demonstrate this. 'Desert Dreams' is a fairly lukewarm effort in any case, pleasant enough to listen to, but offering little in the way of thrills. If Fusonic could take their Camel/Floyd influences, and develop their compositions to the same extent that those bands to however, Fusonic could have something great on their hands.

Report this review (#572138)
Posted Sunday, November 20, 2011 | Review Permalink
2 stars The debut offering from Dutch symphonic prog band Fusonic is, in many ways, a bit of a mixed bag in my opinion. Although there are plenty of high points contained throughout Desert Dreams, a decent amount of these standout aspects are also accompanied by a few nagging flaws and shortcomings. Fusonic's greatest strength prehaps lies in their ability to deliver a 'retro' instrumental progressive rock style that manages to sound vastly different from most of the genre's current followers, but the delivery of this style is often less than ideal. While the heavily atmospheric and new age-influenced progressive rock compositions are a refreshing break from the endless technicality runs from many other modern progressive rock acts, I can't say that all of Fusonic's potential has been lived up to the fullest on this debut.

Musically, Desert Dreams sounds somewhere in-between Pink Floyd, Camel, Focus, and new age music - this is generally a very relaxed album, and most of Fusonic's compositions are focused around creating lush atmospheres with beautiful melodies. At over 74 minutes long, Desert Dreams' instrumental compositions do began to lose a bit of steam towards the middle of the album, but generally the songwriting here is pretty solid, if a bit on the uneventful side. These are pleasant and enjoyable songs for sure; still, I can't say that any of them are particularly memorable. Desert Dreams tends to lack any sort of musical 'climaxes', and while it can provide as pretty good background music, I'm afraid that it's not something that will stick with many listeners for an extended period of time.

The production is also less than stellar, and the drums especially sound pretty mediocre in certain spots. Whilst the production on Desert Dreams isn't a crippling flaw, it isn't likely to impress most sound purists. All in all, Desert Dreams is a pretty uneventful album, and while it does offer plenty of promise for the future of Fusonic, I can't recommend this to anybody who isn't a big fan of atmospheric instrumental prog. If Fusonic can hone in a bit on their compositions and hire a professional producer, they definitely have the ability to be quite a unique asset to the modern progressive rock scene.

Report this review (#649884)
Posted Wednesday, March 7, 2012 | Review Permalink
Tarcisio Moura
3 stars When I heard about this band I knew I had to get this CD. After all, a symphonic prog band from Holland is always something worth listening. You see, that country has a long and rich tradition of delivering fine prog music since the early 70´s. And Desert Dreams follows this tradiitionm, although Fusonic´s debut album is far from perfect. The CD is totally instrumental, which is no surprise since there are several dutch bands that delivered such style with excellency, past and present (Focus, Trace, Odyssice, Trion, just no name a few). The group is formed by talented musicians, featuring the excellent guitar works of a guy named just Teo. He plays in the traditional mode of other great ones like Andrew Latimer, Jan Akkermann and Steve Hackett.

Unfortunatly the CD is just too long, not very well produced and the tracklist is not very well balanced. When they play that melodic stuff with influences from bands like Focus and Camel, Fusonic really shines: Beyond Music, Yellow Horses, Endless and Fata Morgana are good examples of how far they can go if they persue this direction. But on other tracks, like The Desert Themes, the music is just atmospheric and quite boring. It would be interesting if the keyboards had more space to develop the soundscapes (like on Desert Dawn). Most of the time I liked the CD, although this is typically the case where you have to listen more than once to really get it.

All in all I found Desert Dreams quite enjoyable. This is a promising band that has great potential. With a better production, bolder arrangements and stronger tunes, they will surely make theri mark in the future. I´m looking forward to hear their next work.

Final rating: something between 3 and 3.5 stars.

Report this review (#658070)
Posted Tuesday, March 13, 2012 | Review Permalink

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