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(56:26; Fall of Episteme)
TRACK LIST: 1. Love Will Stay 8:15 2. Experience Oblige 10:23 3. Accelerator 8:17 4. Punchline 8:19 5. Invisible Crusader 15:19 6. Guiding Star 5:53 LINEUP: Rune M. Nielsen - vocals Flemming K. Pedersen - keyboards, vocals, guitars Jan Juul - bass, vocals Rune B. Eskildsen - drums, percussion Kent B. Eskildsen - guitars, bass, keyboards with: Christine Hoflund Elkjaer - cello Laila Hart - saxophone Soren Foged Christensen - bass
Prolusion. Danish band FALL OF EPISTEME was formed back in 2012, and if I grasp the historical notes correctly on the foundation of an earlier band several of the members had been a part of. A few developments later saw the band hitting the recording studio in 2017, and following what presumably were multiple recording sessions the band self-released their debut album "Fall of Episteme" in 2019.
Analysis. Fall of Episteme is a self-described progressive rock band, and appear to be eager to explore this genre of music and to direct interest from the fanbase of this music towards what they are doing. I rather suspect that the majority of the band members are fans of the genre themselves, as that is often the case when that nature of eagerness and dedication is at play. For my sake I do find their material to be more on the outskirts of the genre as such to be honest, with at least a foot inside more mainstream oriented escapades. Which isn't a bad thing in itself, but for those with a main interest in the more expressive parts of the progressive rock universe Fall of Episteme may not quite deliver what those fans are looking for. I'd pretty much describe this band as one with a solid foot inside 70's hard rock, with slow to mid paced compositions as a specialty at that. They are fond of piano motifs as a key underlying motif in most of the songs, and will often start a song with a more relaxed piano section as well. As the song develops the structure has a tendency to have a more strict progressive nature to it, with alterations in intensity and arrangements as the primary developments. Often and almost always revisiting several passages in the run of a sing. The contrast between the guitar and various keyboards are explored thoroughly throughout, both to craft majestic passages with beefy guitar riffs and swooping keyboard overlays, but also to create more delicate passages with gentler guitars and softer keyboard textures as key elements. Occasionally they will dip their toes into landscapes with more of a flamboyant AOR style hard rock touch as well. The somewhat theatrical vocals of lead singer Rune M. Nielsen fit the landscapes explored fairly well. He does have a stated church choir background, and those familiar with these surroundings will notice that aspect of his delivery. Hence the vocals have more of a sacral touch to them than a traditional rock singer mode of delivery. From my perspective as a listener what I do find lacking are the moments of brilliancy though. My impression is that this is a band that haven't quite managed to develop into a solid unit yet, with the compositions coming across as perhaps a bit too safe and predictable, and perhaps focusing a bit too much on moods and atmospheres and not quite enough on those finer, expressive details that adds life and tension to a song. A good album that may well be appreciated by a fairly broad audience, but nothing that I'd describe as spectacular.
Conclusion. In some ways I'd say that Fall of Episteme as of 2019 strikes me as a simpler, less expressive version of Norwegian band Magic Pie, using many similar elements in the core construction of their material but opting for simpler solutions in the execution and additional arrangement development. Progressive rock fans who enjoy accessible material with a solid foot inside 70's and 80's hard rock is my hunch as far as a key audience is concerned, and then in particular those who enjoy bands of this type that are liberal with the amount of keyboards they use in their songs.
Progmessor: June 2020
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