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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Xavi Reija

Resolution

Review by Gary Hill

When one looks at the line up here (Xavi Reija on drums, Dusan Jevtovic on guitar and Bernat Hernandez on bass), it would be easy to assume this is a jazz trio. That would only be so far off the mark. This album clearly has a lot in common with that sound and there are passages that fit. The thing is, it has plenty of King Crimson like progressive rock in the mix along with space music and more. The mix of sounds isn’t entirely new or unique, but these guys do it in a way that’s novel. It’s also quite entertaining. Fans of fusion and instrumental spacey prog will love this. It’s really a great set. 


This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2014  Volume 3 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Flying to Nowhere

Space rock and jazz seem to merge on this piece. It has a driving rhythm and also some definite crunchy guitar. Comparisons to jazz band music wouldn’t be out of the question. I really love some of the bass work on this thing. That said, the guitar playing is not something to ignore either. The drums get chances to shine, as well. At times I think of Djam Karet here. At other points King Crimson is a valid reference. Whatever you compare this to, though, it’s a really awesome piece of music that works through some great changes while feeling connected and organic.

Macroscope
The bass on the opening of this is purely amazing. I love it. The cut has a great fusion sound as it moves forward. As it continues it drops to a noisy kind of near ambience that feels quite freeform. Then after the three minute mark it works out to more rocking territory. They continue to make this beast evolve. Eventually it works out to a percussion work out and that takes the piece to its close.
Shadow Dance

A bit slower moving, this cut runs a nice balance between that King Crimson edge and fusion with some space rock in the mix. As it continues to grow, it rocks out a bit more, but still stays fairly close to its origins.

Dreamer

Nearly ten minutes long, this is epic in size. It’s not the longest piece here, though. This comes in with a funky prog turned space sound. It grows outward from there as it continues. It gets pretty rocking and a little noisy at times with more of that Djam Karet meets King Crimson element at play. There are really some cool transitions here and this even gets into some almost metallic territory.

Abyss

The bass on this one stands out quite a bit. It’s a space rock kind of exploration to my ears. It’s got plenty of that Crimsonian crunch, though. There are definitely some noisier moments later, too.

The Land of the Sirenians
A mellower piece, this is one of the most purely jazz-like numbers here. It’s still got some space music in the mix, but it really could pass for pure fusion.
Resolution

Powering in with a fairly heavy jam, this is more pure rock than anything we’ve heard to this point. It’s got a lot of energy and it is just plain cool. I love the section mid-track where the bass takes over for a short time.

Pop Song for You

This comes in as a heavy rocker and pounds out from there. It’s still got a lot of fusion in the mix, along with plenty of King Crimson, though. It drops way down later in the piece and then works up to a noise-fest kind of Crimson jam. From there it evolves into a fun and quite funky excursion.

The John’s Song

The driving bass brings a real funky element to this. The guitar and other sounds over the top lend some atmosphere and a sense of mystery. It’s got a real space meets fusion kind of vibe going. There is a bit of a percussion exploration later in the piece, too.

Gravity
At over eleven and a half minutes of music, this is the longest piece here. It starts with atmospheric sounds and grows out from there. It picks up more rhythm and energy for a time before dissolving back down into spacier music. It continues to evolve in some awesome ways. At times it rocks out more. At times it’s mellower. After the three minute mark it gets more mainstream for a short time. Then it drops back to more pure mellow jazz. Don’t get used to it, though. The piece just keeps shifting and changing. There are sections that really remind me a lot of King Crimson, while other moments have completely different leanings. This does get pretty heavy at some points in the piece. Seriously, though, don’t get used to anything here as the one constant is change. There is a percussion and space section late in the piece, too.
Welcome to the End
Although the general space music meets fusion theme isn’t really reworked, this is a cool rocker with a real groove to it. It’s energetic and accessible. King Crimson is a valid reference as is Djam Karet, but this also goes further than even the combination of those reference points. While this is the most constant piece of the album, it has enough change and variety to keep it interesting throughout.
 
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