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(41:11; Dream Aria)
Straight from the first notes of “The Rhythm Of Now” I knew I was going to enjoy this 2008 album. Back in the 90’s I headed out one night to a dive called Oxford Stocks to see the mighty Legend supported by Incubus Succubus, and here I was now listening to a number that could have been released if those two bands had joined forces. Ann comes over as a forceful Candia, Don provides all the finesse of Stephen Paine, Garry Flint has the energy of John Macklin while the combined four guest guitarists bring forth images of both Tony McKormack and Paul Thomson. High energy progressive rock with the emphasis strongly on the latter, this and “Labyrinth” fair crunched through the speakers. But when the third number, “Transcend”, started I soon realised that the guys were going to be mixing it up. This number is probably the heaviest in terms of riffs, but there are just so many elements in this as the music keeps changing and swirling, bringing in eastern influences, using a superb fretless bass against almost tribal drumming, while Ann again puts a different edge into her voice while always being in total control. It doesn’t matter if she is being asked to sing sweetly, or provide a hard rock attack, her voice is always just right for the job in hand. Don keeps himself more in the background than many keyboard players, but he is always at the heart of it, whether it is gentle repeating piano or something more dramatic, while they always keep the guitars close to hand, ready to drive the rock element even further if the need requires, but never allowing themselves to stay settled inside any one particular element for too long. I’ve only just come across this album, which at the time of writing hasn’t even had a review on ProgArchives so I’m obviously not the only one. That is not only a shame, it’s criminal, as this is a superb album.
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