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Ichthyander Dad's Only Dolphin - Playing Live At One Music Fest CD (album) cover

PLAYING LIVE AT ONE MUSIC FEST

Ichthyander Dad's Only Dolphin

 

Eclectic Prog

3.87 | 13 ratings

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Magnum Vaeltaja
Special Collaborator
Eclectic Prog Team
4 stars Ichthyander Dad's Only Dolphin (IDOD) is yet another band to hail from the vibrant Eastern European prog scene. An all-instrumental ensemble, IDOD is something of an archetypal modern eclectic band. This sole release (so far) of theirs is a live album from a recent reunion show; the band's original incarnation disbanded in the 1990's before they got a chance to release any material. And it certainly seems to me that they've made up for lost time!

IDOD is almost the definition of eclectic prog; their hour-long setlist never sits still, flipping between symphonic prog, jazz rock, prog folk, and new age, with these genres often weaved together into the same passage. Some common referential cores can be picked up, with the jazzier side of King Crimson shining through quite often, but there's really a lot more nuance to these guys' sound than can be conveyed just by listing influences. Indeed, these guys have a remarkable depth to their sound. The music is rich in timbres, with the typical "prog quartet" of keyboard, guitar, bass, and drums being spruced up by violin, flute, and saxophone. And the band is equally compelling at pulling off any number of moods or ambiences, whether it's the uptempo rock exhilaration of "Countdown", the sombre, contemplative "Castle of Birmingham", or the nostalgic, yearning "Comeback To Life". Add in the virtuoso performances and headspinningly intricate rhythmic arrangements that grace much of the material, and these guys have a real hit (by prog standards at least) on their hands!

Having said that, there's not much on this album that's wildly innovative; IDOD don't have anything up their sleeves that some other eclectic group hadn't thought of 30 or more years ago. But what tips the scales in their favour is the fact that they've so masterfully consolidated their influences into something that's not only consistently strong in terms of composition and performance, but they've captured some of the magic that makes all the prog classics so wonderful. When you hear that first crashing opening of "Through The Gates of The Universe", you know that you're in for a musical joyride and a true sonic adventure. And what a journey it is. After repeat listens, the music - and the experience - hold up remarkably well. So here's a band that gets down to business. No gimmicks, just great music, plain and simple - even if the music is anything but. 4 stars for a memorable, professional, and ultimately stunning display of talent.

Magnum Vaeltaja | 4/5 |

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