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Peter Matuchniak - 2014 - "Destiny"

(52:22, Melodic Revolution Records)


*****
                 
TRACK LIST:

1.  Destiny 2:52
2.  Product 8:27
3.  Spies 3:47
4.  Oyster Club 5:42
5.  Tunnel 2:50
6.  Go Fast 2:04
7.  Go Slow 5:24
8.  Island 7:18
9.  Reprisal 5:40
10. Chaos 1:18
11. Victory 7:00

LINEUP:

Peter Matuchniak  guitars; vocals
Steve Bonino  basses; vocals
Scott Connor  drums; vocals
Paul Mouradjian  keyboards 
With:
Jojo Nakano  saxophone 
David Gilman  clarinet 
Ted Zahn  vocals 
Natalie Azerad  vocals 
Alyssa Matuchniak  vocals 

Prolusion. US based composer and instrumentalist Peter MATUCHNIAK was first active back in the 80s in England with neo-progressive bands Janysium and Mach One. Later on he moved to the US, and following a pause away from music he returned as a member of the bands Evolve IV and Gekko Project a few years back, and also launched a solo career with the release of "Uncover Me" in 2012. "Destiny" is his second solo album, released through Melodic Revolution Records in 2014.

Analysis. Matuchniak is a musician that appears to have a fairly broad interest in music, at least in terms of styles and expressions. This soon becomes evident as one starts listening through this CD, as the material at hand often is of a fairly eclectic nature. Opening and title track Destiny is a creation that should sound familiar for most fans of bands such as Marillion, for instance, and those fond of old school neo-progressive rock will find a few more treats that more or less cover their taste in music throughout this production. Not always in purebred form admittedly, as the eighth track Island alternates it with a variety of soft rock, complete with a sleepy saxophone solo towards the end, while concluding piece Victory pairs of a more or less regular variety of the style with dramatic vintage progressive rock in the manner of ELP, vintage organ and guitar riff-driven hard rock and reggae. Such a blend of style is something of a key feature throughout this album. The most ambitious of the lot in that context is arguably second track Product, which alternates between AORish hard rock, piano-driven soft rock and majestic and smooth sequences closer to the likes of Pink Floyd, with a few side trips into piano-driven, wandering jazz-oriented landscapes as the icing on the cake. The most successful entries here, at least as far as I'm concerned, also revolve around material that pairs off or blends different styles: the soft rock and jazz blend combined on Spies and the funkier blend of the same elements on Oyster Club. The following shorter affair Tunnel, which has more of an emphasis on the progressive rock side of matters, is just about as compelling in my book, and also stands out as a song that merits a first listen for potential buyers of this CD. The general diversity of this production is also one of its weak sides, however. For me, a few of the compositions come across as more ambitious in scope than in execution, Product being a perfect example of that, and other songs give me the impression of not being all that focused, songs of the kind that give me the impression of an artist wrangling with the details one desires to include and fighting to make them fit, more or less. I'll also add that occasionally I found the vocals to be slightly odd or off, a case of what sounded for me like an unusual pitch and tone selected, ones that didn't align with my perceptions of what would have been the optimal or logical choice. As with everything else these are subjective opinions obviously, but those who know they are sensitive to such matters might want to inspect prior to purchase due to those details.

Conclusion. "Destiny" comes across as a fairly sophisticated specimen of a soft rock production, a mainstream rock oriented album with strong ties to progressive rock and with a small handful of compositions inside the universe of the latter but where the majority of the material and the main scope is one I feel has been made with a broader reach in mind. A production that comes across as somewhat uneven on some levels, but that may well charm those who have an equal interest in jazz, soft rock and progressive rock.

OMB=Olav M Bjornsen: December 4, 2015
The Rating Room


Related Links:

Melodic Revolution Records
Peter Matuchniak


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