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Although, this is just a pre-production material from the upcoming (early 2001) Elegant Simplicity new studio album "Palindrome" (and so, you may consider these lines a kind of pre-production review), I am simply shocked (in a good meaning) with the new sound of this band. Already on these "Excerpts" I hear some outstanding, complex, often wonderfully bombastic progressive rock. Several diverse themes within each composition contain very extensive arrangements that are built with brilliant simultaneous yet at the same time very different among themselves solos of each instrument (there is no unison solos and even solos in fourth or fifth in this music at all) endlessly crossing each other exclusively in the lands of Her Majesty Queen Perfect Harmony. I guess, all these twisted solos of guitar and keyboards were performed by Steven McCabe alone, but who is this outstanding drummer, whose work I hear on "Excerpts" (and will, hopefully, hear on "Palindrome" too)? I have never heard such extensive virtuosic drumming in Elegant Simplicity before. This is a very unexpected, innovative and original album, even within the framework of the bandís work. And although this new creation by Steven McCabe still contains some mellow melodic lines, on the whole, the diversity of themes and complexity of arrangements now fully corresponds to those structures that we call classic symphonic Art Rock at its best.
Vitaly Menshikov: September 24, 2002
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