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Electrum - Standard Deviation CD (album) cover



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3 stars Electrum is a prog rock trio. This brings to mind the most legendary canadian prog rock band and there is a point here. The music of Electrum is reminiscent of Rush, though it would be unfair (if not a lie) to say that these guys copy Rush.Their music also involves many jazz and fusion influences. The first time I had the chance to listen to "Standard Deviation" I was driving and I remember I being totally captured by the album. When I finally arrived, "Seven Falls, Eight Rises" had just began, so I parked, turned off the engine and enjoyed the rest of it before going where I was going. In a few words, "Standard Deviation" is characterized by great instrumental music, high level of musicianship, very good compostitions, and a fair sound.

The worst moments of the album are probaly "The Will To Power" (too bad it is the opener) and "Appartment Living", which has nothing to do with the jazzy melodic approach of the rest of the tracks.

My favourite tracks are "Degrees Of Freedom" and "A Fugue State", both outstanding pieces, of prog with great melodies, constant mood changes and wise use of keyboards.

Recommended to all fans of instrumental prog rock.

Report this review (#299944)
Posted Tuesday, September 21, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars Electrum is an all-instrumental trio consisting of bass guitarist Gino Foti, guitarist Dave Kulju, and drummer Joe Musmanno. Kulju and Foti both share keyboard duties. This is their second album, featuring seven all instrumental tracks (the first and fifth tracks have a few scant spoken mutterings). My main interest in this band is that I discovered their CD at a cheap price on Ebay and after reviewing several positive reviews on other sites, I gave it a try.

Wow, what a mixed bag this CD is, and I mean that in a positive way as the musical styles are quite diverse, although there is a subtle "sameness" across the whole album. Many of the reviews I've read point to Rush as a big influence, and I'm not so sure the influence is "big," but it certainly is there, mostly in Musmanno's almost Peart-style of drumming. Occasionally the guitar work is similar to that of Alex Lifeson, but generally Dave Kulju has a wide palette and I hear similarites with other prog guitarists like John Mitchell, Roine Stolt, Chris Fry, and John Petrucci (yes, Kulju plays some metallic riffs in places). Some songs are jazzy, some even exhibit blues influences. Some are energetic, some peaceful, and some are a mix of several styles. I even hear a little neo prog and symphonic prog in places, though the keyboards are usually used as a background or to fill out the sound more, with occasional solos being brought out into the front. The bass work is exceptional, though it plays a more subdued accompanying role instead of being in front. Occasionally I sense some Geddy Lee references (particularly during the last track).

Overall a really nice album and an enjoyable listen. If you like your prog in the instrumental vein with touches of Rush, this one is worth your attention.

Report this review (#518825)
Posted Friday, September 9, 2011 | Review Permalink

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