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Crea - 2019 - "Dwarves & Penguins"

(45:53; Crea)


****+

It is rare to be sent an album which is so evocative of the neo-prog scene, something which has that genre absolutely nailed. So much so in fact, that the only names I could think of when trying to describe this was Grace, Galahad, Citizen Cain with elements of IQ. I was blown away to discover this band are Swedish as this is exactly what I was listening to some 25 years ago when the scene was booming in the UK (I know it didnít really, but it felt exciting at the time). It is an album which would have been released by Cyclops or SI Music, far too rock to have made it onto Musea, yet here we are in 2019 who have put it out on their own label. This is a quartet, with singer Peter Gren also providing guitar and e-bow, and he is joined by Anders Karlsson (keyboards, vocals), Nicke Bjerke (bass) and Sonny Johansson (drums, percussion, vocals). While progressive rock is often sneered at by people who donít enjoy it, with the prog scene itself there appears to be a special circle of hell reserved for those who play this sub-genre. Iíve never understood the mentality, as I try to treat music fairly on its own merits no matter the genre, but I know that unfortunately there will be many progheads who wonít even listen to this as they donít deem it worthy of their time, but take it from me they are the ones missing out. This is catchy, with good interplay between all the band, who are also prepared to have lengthier instrumental passages when they wish to. I am also very much a fan of Peterís voice, which combines elements of Mac Austin with Roger Chapman and Cyrus, and he also brings in multiple different styles to his playing while the rest of the guys are no slouches either, and a special mention should be made of the bass playing in ďMillenniumĒ which sometimes is towards the rear and sometimes much to the fore but is always interesting and vibrant. This is a really interesting incredibly solid debut album, and one I have enjoyed playing immensely and I am sure many other fans of the genre will feel the same. Well worth investigating.

Progtector: October 2019


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