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(63:26; Gentle Art of Music)
TRACK LIST: 1. Sisyphos 6:26 2. Aphotic Zone 6:01 3. The Bass Thing 8:01 4. The Path 7:43 5. Tree 6:09 6. Try to Stop Me 5:28 7. Living in a Bubble 6:24 8. Entering Stratosphere 4:23 9. Center Su(o)n 8:34 10. Surfing with the Alien 4:17 LINE UP : Ally Storch - strings, vocals Robert Klawonn - guitars Eric Langbecker - guitars Rouven Haliti - Chapman stick Simon Tumielewicz - bass Stefan Hukriede - drums with: Marco Minnemann - drums Sebastian Baur - vocals Alf Ator - vocals Benni Cellini - cello Jen Majura - guitars Felix Wiegand - bass
Prolusion. German band Ally The Fiddle is the creative vehicle of composer and musician Ally Storch, and is a venture that has been active for the better part of the last 15 years. The band have two studio albums to their name at this point, of which the first appeared back in 2013. "Up" dates back to 2018. and was released through the German label Gentle Art of Music.
Analysis. When you have a band called Ally the Fiddle and release an album featuring the kind of covert art that has been used for "Up", you know you are in for an experience where the violin will be a central instrument. Unlike the impression some might get, the music we are presented with here is one that has quite an expressive nature to it, and as an album experience this is one that does cover quite a few bases. I'd describe music of the material here as experimental and a bit off kilter in nature as well as general orientation. The song structure has a tendency to be experimental to a lesser or greater degree, and the arrangements have a tendency to feature slightly unconventional elements too. As a total experience I'd say that this is a bit of a niche-oriented excursion. Classical music impulses and folk music elements are brought in with a playful attitude here, with chamber music moments, some vocal details and plenty of harmony overlays featuring certain details and elements that reflect back to both of these traditions and where the classical music elements may be the dominant ones all matters considered. These elements are then used in material that alternates between having a rock, a hard rock and a metal core foundation, and where the total experience for a song often will end up with a bit more of an experimental and off kilter touch. That chamber rock elements appears to be a more central feature than straight up symphonic ones probably merits a mention here. An additional element that is very much present is jazz rock, with one song having a borderline avant and free form minimalist attitude at the more extreme edge of matters. A more flowing and at times elegant variety of jazzrock is a bit more of a calling card here though. It is an interesting and novel take on the use of the violin in landscapes that include aspects of progressive rock and progressive metal explored with and blended with rock, metal, jazz and classical music, with a bit of a folk music touch as a sometime presence. This is music with more of an off kilter mode and mood too, material with an experimental edge and a style and execution that will have more of a niche impact.
Conclusion. The world of Ally The Fiddle is one where music is explored in a manner that is a bit more on the novel side, an amalgam of different elements combined and explored with more of an unconventional approach. Classical music elements are paired off with jazz, rock, folk and metal traditions, where the end result tends to be a bit on the off kilter side of things. I suspect the music here will be more difficult to enjoy and comprehend by a higher number of people than the number of people who get thrilled by it. This will of course be a splendid album for the presumed niche audience that are intrigued by the end result.
Progmessor: February 2023
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