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(69 min, Neurosis)
TRACK LIST: 1. Until the End 7:24 2. Rumor Clinic 5:13 3. X in the Sky 5:30 4. Modified Universe 6:28 5. Change Stays the Same 6:21 6. Enemies of America 6:27 7. Together Forever 6:25 8. None of My Concern 4:46 9. Chemical Dispersion 5:46 10. Passage of Time 3:49 11. Temporary World 4:46 12. Alteration 5:52 LINEUP: Rick Ray - guitars; keyboards; vocals Rick Schultz - reeds Sam Glorioso - drums Frank Pellino - guitars; keyboards Jack Ambrose - bass; vocals Chuck Abraham - lead vocals
Prolusion. "Temporary World" is the fourth album by THE RICK RAY BAND, following "Night of the Living Dedicated", "Out of the Mist of Obscurity" and "Into the Hands of Sinners". By the way, this is a full-fledged factory-made CD and there is a solid improvement in sound.
Analysis. As you can see above, the album is made up of twelve tracks of a moderate longevity, most exceeding five minutes in duration. However, this matter doesn't mean automatically that the longer compositions are more diverse etc than the shorter ones. Appraising this nearly 70-minute recording by general musical criterions, you will not find weak spots here, and only from a progressive standpoint some of the tracks are inferior to the others. These are Rumor Clinic, X in the Sky, Enemies of America and Together Forever, the first two being traditional Hard Rock songs with some bluesy intonations (somewhere between early Ted Nugent and Ian Gillan Band), and the others ballads. There are impressive reeds- and guitar-laden instrumental arrangements at the end of each of the couples respectively, but the other instruments play almost exclusively a supporting role there. Until the End and Chemical Dispersion are both many-sided, dynamic and expressive, quasi-progressive Hard Rock, the latter one featuring plenty of brilliant keyboard (mainly organ) patterns. The title track and Alteration, taking the last two positions, both begin and develop much in the same vein, changing direction towards an atmospheric Space Rock later on. The largely instrumental Change Stays the Same and None of My Concern are progressive highlights, much more diverse and compelling than any of the other tracks (though those still unnamed are just slightly inferior to them). With constantly swirling arrangements, both are closer to classic Jazz-Fusion than to Hard Rock, being abundant in theme and tempo changes and featuring a lot of excellent quasi and authentic improvisations, particularly many from Rick Ray and Rick Schultz. The first of the two instrumental compositions, Modified Universe, manifests the departure from a heavy sound, though overall, it is much of the same improvisational nature as the previously described tracks. Finally, Passage of Time is an intricate acoustic guitar piece, displaying Rick Ray's solid knowledge of both symphonic and improvisational harmonies. Back to the jazz-inflected compositions with a full-band sound, some parallels can be drawn between them and those from "Clear Air Turbulence" (1977), Ian Gillan's best solo effort ever, though I must note that all the points of comparison I've used in the review are rough. The album has a very strong '70s sense, but the music as such remains fully original throughout.
Conclusion. A musical tour de force into the '70s with their unique distinctive sound, "Temporary World" is in all senses a good album, and I'd have rated even higher if I were about to value it from the position of its primary style. At least those considering a proto- and quasi-progressive Hard Rock will find it worthy of their attention.
VM: December 12, 2005
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