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(45:24; Progressive Promotion Records)
TRACK LIST: 1. Yemaya Orisha 12:50 2. Mami Wata 9:57 3. Riddles of the Sphinx 7:21 4. Gemini Flower 8:04 5. Serra da Estrela 7:12 LINEUP: Pete Mush - synthesizers Tom Tee - guitars Jaro - bass Louis - drums Charles Sla - flutes with: Maera - vocals Rafaela Ignis - vocals
Prolusion. Belgian band QUANTUM FANTAY started out back in 2002. and from 2005 and onward they have released new material every two years or thereabouts. They have 2 live albums and 8 studio albums to their name at this point. "Yemaya Orisha" is their most recent studio album, and was released through German label Progressive Promotion Records in the summer of 2019.
Analysis. (Mainly) instrumental progressive rock is the name of the game for this Belgian band, and they have chosen to explore a variety of this music that is most commonly described as space rock. Their specific take on the genre have seen me compare them to highly influential band Ozric Tentacles in the past, and from my point of view it is easy to repeat this comparison also this time around. Various layers of keyboards and synthesizers fills out a lot of space on the compositions here, with floating keyboards, sequencer like rhythm effects, fluctuating and circulating keyboard solo passages as well as cosmic effects, odd sounds and more careful effects and details rarely given a dominant spot as such. The flute and the guitar provides solo runs and overlays, and the guitar also adds firm riffs for a bit more bite and depth to the proceedings. The rhythm section has more of a supportive role, but an important one at that, setting the pace and the foundation for a few developments along the way. Development and flow are major points about this band's approach. Gliding from one point to the other, ebbing and flowing in pace and intensity, seguing from less intense and sparse to more intense and majestically layered. All trademark aspects explored by the band on this album, up to and complete with repetition of earlier themes, motifs and even arrangements at times. Some exotic sounds makes the occasional appearances throughout, while cosmic effects are added and used with a more liberal and liberated sense of freedom. The end result is music of a similar kind to bands like Ozric Tentacles. Otherworldly atmospheres, sometimes more intense with a sharper guitar solo or guitar riff driven grit, sometimes more majestic with layered keyboards and synthesizers, sometimes more careful, usually with the flute or a more careful keyboard motif leading the way for this latter aspect of the band's sound. At times they do take on more of a Tangerine Dream oriented sound this time around as well, albeit in more of a subtle manner and as a part of the totality I should add. As with just about all other albums I have encountered by this band the songs themselves are compelling all the way through as well, and really well mapped out and executed. Solid more than brilliant though, but without any weaknesses as such to be found either.
Conclusion. Quantum Fantay have been a good choice for those who know, love and treasure the kind of cosmic, mainly instrumental progressive rock that bands such as Ozric Tentacles popularized back in the day. As of 2019 this is still very much the case, so those aware of the band can safely get this album as well, and for those not yet aware of them this album is as good a place to start with them as any other album they have released so far.
Progmessor: December 25th 2019
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