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Yang

The Failure of Words

Review by Gary Hill
There is a whole school of guitar based prog styled around the King Crimson style of music. These guys fit into that category. In a lot of ways, you can look at them as the Yang to California Guitar Trio's Yin - at least with this album. It sounds a lot like CGT if you were to add a metallic crunch to their sound. This is very much a fusion-like thing in a lot of places, too. All in all, this is a great album for those who dig instrumental guitar prog.
 
This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2017  Volume 2 at lulu.com/strangesound.
Track by Track Review
El Diablo
Hard rock merges with a freaky kind of Rock in Opposition sensibility on this thing. It has weird melodic elements laden over the top of weird timings. It's very much King Crimson-like. They take it to a bit more mainstream prog stuff later in the track, but then work out from there to some particularly strange music. It gets some angular lines of sound in the mix as that continues its exploration. It gets almost metallic in a jam beyond that section. At it shifts to more mainstream prog there is some exceptionally cool guitar soloing. This is one heck of a ride.
Six Four Five

This comes in mellower, feeling just a bit like fusion. It grows out in that kind of a sound. Moving forward in a more cohesive, mainstream way, this drops to some strangeness mid-track. There are some exceptional lines of guitar soloing that come over the top of that as it continues. It works to a more powered up movement that's like an energized version of the opening section in a lot of ways.

Iago
I love the bass sound that starts this. The cut rises to an energized jam that's very much like King Crimson goes fusion. This is a bit more mainstream than some of the rest. It's incredibly meaty, though. It gets some serious crunch at points, too. There are some intriguing shifts and turns, but in a lot of way this is more accessible and straight-line than the songs that preceded it.
9/8 Variations
Guitar brings this in with a rather classical angle to it. As other instruments join we're brought into a pure prog variant on classical music. There is a seriously hard rocking movement that shows up at various points in the cut. This is a real guitar workout in so many ways. There is a big chunk of King Crimson built into this, but also plenty of fusion. It's an rather unpredictable journey that's quite thrilling.
Babel Inside
Fast paced and rocking, this is very King Crimson-like. I absolutely love the way the instruments work together on this. It might be my favorite track here. They achieve some amazing bits of harmony on it. This is driving and powerful. It seems to get a little lost in a mellower movement mid-track, though. It comes back out of that section with more inspired and powerful jamming.
Slow Flow (Flux Lent)
This starts with the mellowest sounds we've heard. It's very much a jazz-like treatment. It builds incrementally as it works forward. It eventually makes its way to the more powered up kind of music that we've heard throughout. It's quite Crimson-like. That said, it never gets the kind of crunch the rest of the disc does.
Indecision
The fusion meets King Crimson concepts are all over this. It gets quite crunchy at times, leaning towards some real metal. There are parts that feel like KC's Red album. This is no reinvention of the wheel, but it's a potent use of said device. There's a mellower drop back mid-track.
DĂ©croissance (Degrowth)
This hard rocking number has a lot of the familiar trappings, but all in fresh clothing. It's another strong piece of music. It has a lot of Crimson-like leanings.
Healing (Guérison)

This comes in much mellower. It works through with some cool melodies as it grows ever so gradually. There is an elegance and a darkness to it. Eventually this works out to more of the same powered up King Crimson-like sound. It's a solid musical exploration.

 
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