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Podd

Cosmic Forces

Review by Gary Hill

This four-piece outfit creates instrumental progressive rock. I suppose if you wanted to encompass their sound with the comparison to one act it would probably be Mahavishnu Orchestra, but there is a lot more here than that. This act definitely skirts the territory between prog rock and fusion quite well. This is an exceptional disc that works extremely well.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2017  Volume 6 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Beyond Beyond
An acoustic guitar based arrangement opens this cut. They work forward within that general musical tapestry as other layers of sound are added to the mix. It remains in this rather sedate, fusion based concept for a while. Around the one minute mark a false ending gives way to a more rocking jam that definitely makes me think of Al Di Meola at first. Then it fires out to some scorching fast paced prog that seems like what you might get if you merged Mahavishnu Orchestra with Dream Theater. More changes emerge. There are things here that make me think of the harder rocking side of early Genesis. Other things are more neo-classical in nature. The organ based section makes me think of ELP. This is a killer jam and a great way to start the set.
There and Back

Perhaps a bit more constant, this is still a killer cut. The keys are arguably a bigger part of the arrangement here than on the opening. This one lands much more in line with Mahavishnu Orchestra. There is a lot of fusion built into this. It manages to work some great changes into it. I really love some of the keyboard soloing on this thing a lot.

Primal Antenna
Smoking hot prog rock is the order of business here. Some parts of this make me think of Frank Zappa just a bit. Overall this is probably closest to a combination of Rick Wakeman solo and Yes as a band. It's a powerhouse rocker that works so well.
Starseed

There are bits of jam band sound in the mix here. That gets tempered with more fusion. The piano adds a lot of flavor. There is some crazed and impressive guitar work in the mix of this. That brings the cut thoroughly into the fusion zone.

The Spark
While overall the general concept hasn't changed, each song here is unique. This one has a particularly rock and roll based guitar section. Yet it also has a lot of fusion built into its chassis. It drops back later for a percussion solo that gives way to a mellower jazz-based jam. By the time it gets into the closing segment, this has evolved into a fierce and frantic jam.
Impact
Percussion starts this. Guitar joins after a time and the piece begins to work forward. This number shifts and changes as it drives forward. A fast paced section later makes me think of what you might get if you merged early Rush with fusion.
Ultimate Reality

Acoustic guitar merged with some cool keyboards opens this number and holds it for close to a minute. Then this shifts outward to a more rocking movement. The piece continues to evolve. A fast paced jam later is among the strongest musical passages of the disc. 

Abraxas
There is a definite Middle-Eastern kind of element to this piece. This cut has a lot of world music built into it in terms of melodic structure and instrumentation. It's an acoustically driven number.
Ziza Ori
In sharp contrast to the last cut, this comes in fast paced and furious. It's mean. It's also purely fusion oriented. This has some of the most crazed music of the whole disc. This is also one of the most effective pieces here. It certainly stands out from the rest.
Transmission

They close the disc with another furious fusion excursion. This is a powerhouse track for certain. It makes for a great closer.

 

 
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