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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Antoine Fafard

Occultus Tramitis

Review by Gary Hill

Antoine Fafard is the bass player and mastermind behind the band Spaced Out. That group is more of a fusion act in a lot of ways. Well, that same fusion concept is present here, but somehow this feels more like mainstream prog. It’s quite a cool disc. It’s not that far removed from the music of Spaced Out, but then again, that stuff was always good, too.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2013  Volume 4 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Peace for 4

Spacey music opens this. The cut builds on that for a time before shifting into some fusion territory. There are some odd bits of timing change as that moves the piece forward. It’s dramatic and tasty, if a bit strange in terms of that timing. There is some killer fusion jamming beyond there. The bass really gets a chance to shine later as a more mellow and rather mysterious musical element drives this. The cut continues to evolve from there.

The Chamber
Although there is still a lot of fusion in this thing, it’s much more of a progressive rock school of thought. I’d land this somewhere near the Dream Theater end of the spectrum. It’s hard edged, high energy and just plain cool. There are some funky moments and some killer guitar work in this ride. As expected, some of the bass work here really shines. This gets some awesome frantic prog added in later.
13 Good Reasons

 The mellower prog movement that opens this again makes me think of Dream Theater. The track moves out from there into more fusion-oriented territory. The violin provides a pretty cool showing in a mellower movement later. There’s also some cool percussion soloing later.

Sum of Six

More of a pure jazz jam, this one works through quite a few different moods and modes. The tempos change. Different instruments take control at different points. All the way through, though, it’s a great jazz trip.

Holding Back Time

The rhythm section starts this off and as the other instruments join it takes on more of a dramatic progressive rock sound. Fusion elements are still present and at times take more control of this beast, though. Although the bass gets some impressive showing on everything here (as one would expect) on this number it seems to shine even more. There is also some killer guitar soloing on this piece.

Fur & Axes

Now, this one really makes me think of Jean-Luc Ponty quite a bit. It grows out to more of a fiery jam at times.

Funkevil

The rhythm section really dominates this one. That said, the guitar does manage to solo, too.

Tree O

A bit mellower, the rhythm section is also the real driving force here, but the bass really creates a lot of melody in the process.

Slydian

This energized tune is basically space rock meets fusion. It’s another killer on a disc with no weak material.

Methamorphosis

As good as the rest of the music here is, it takes something really special to stand above that. This pulls that off. It’s a killer tune that’s more purely prog than fusion, but still has plenty of both. It really makes me think of the band UK quite a bit. This is the best thing on the whole disc and has some awesome moments. At times here I’m reminded of the proggier side of Kansas, too.

Prelude No.2 in C Minor

This bass solo is pretty impressive. I’m not sure it’s the best way to end the set, but still quite cool.

 
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