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‘Drifft’ has also just been released by Iosis, but the copyright on all these songs are marked as being from 2016, so is obviously a newer recording than ‘The Age of Innocence’, which had a copyright of 2013. The line-up has stayed the same between the two albums, and as soon as it is put on the player one is surprised as opening number “One Step From You” features Tatyana Serikbeyeva on lead vocals, as opposed to Igor Savich. Given that Flight 09 have always been his band, this is quite a statement in itself. Working through the album there is no doubt that she has been involved a great deal more, with lead vocals on other songs plus a lot more in the way of harmonies. Musically this album is even deeper into the neo prog area than the previous one, but what lets it down this time is a seeming lack of pace. There are some strong songs on here, but they just feel too slow, and the urge is there to grab the drummer and shake some more speed into him. Not lots, but it feels like the band are dragging or dawdling as opposed to taking matters firmly under their own control. Flight 09 are rightly seen as one of the leaders of the progressive scene in their native Uzbekistan, but unless there are some changes in their approach, I can’t see them making much of an impact outside their own country. Of the two recent releases (I still don’t know if they are re-issues of already available albums), this is the stronger with lots of solid riffing combining with strident keyboard lines, but given this is their sixth album possibly we should be expecting more by now?
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