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Lazleitt - 2019 - “Perpetually Under Idle Grounds”

(42:17; Lazleitt)


Although the debut Lazleitt album only came out in 2018, Alex Lazcano was back with another the following year, and already there had been some changes, the biggest of which was that drummer Jorge Cortes Cuyas was no longer involved. Given that the interaction between Alex and Jorge had been a major part of the sound on the debut I was intrigued to see what had happened to the music. Alex is of course still providing guitars, bass, keyboards, piano and vocals, and Eric Gillette (The Neal Morse Band) is back again but this time not only is he providing lead guitar but drums as well. No flute on this album, but Alex brought in none other than Liz Tapia (Dark Beauty) to provide backing vocals as well as some lead which provides some different vocal sounds, while David Knowles (The Swan Chorus) is on additional keyboards and Carlos Hernandez (Tree of Life Project) also provides some lead guitar. The result is an album which is both heavily related to and a step change from the debut. There is much more in the way of keyboards and guitars, and while the drums are still powerful it is in a totally different matter to the original, which means there is less of a rhythmic foundation. The vocals and top line melodies are more important on this release, with keyboards far more prevalent and layered. Liz has a wonderful voice, and is able to adjust to what is needed, and here her part is that of a band player as opposed to being out front, and she provides the perfect foil to Alex. Again, there are many instrumental passages, and while Alex still has that chunky bass sound the ear is drawn far more to the front melodies This is commercial progressive rock with a lighter sound, but don’t let that mislead you into discarding this as not being worthy: there are times when it is almost reminiscent of Les Holroyd’s songs in BJH, but with more of the John Lees backing combined with Geddy. Given that in many ways this is quite different to the debut I look forward to seeing what the next one will bring, and let’s hope it’s soon.

Progtector: April 2020

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