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Salim Ghazi Saeedi - 2017 - "United Ubiquity of Flesh"

(50:07; Salim Ghazi Saeedi)


TRACK LIST: 1. Drenched by Desire of You 7:32 2. Bodily Invasion 4:09 3. United Ubiquity of Flesh 3:57 4. Universal Resurrection Is the Sexiest Day of All 4:12 5. At Home Dwells Death (Prelude) 4:33 6. At Home Dwells Death 4:40 7. Million Hands Oriental Dancer 5:38 8. Lion's Mouth Is My Home 4:07 9. Let's Sit Naked, O' Friend 4:02 10. No Wind and I'm Out 4:20 11. Untamable Heart of the Artist 2:57 LINE UP : Salim Ghazi Saeedi - guitars, bass, keyboards, programming

Prolusion. Australia based composer and musician Salim Ghazi Saeedi has his background from the nation of Iran, where he used to be a member of the band Arashk prior to opting for a solo career as the best option to pursue his creative impulses. He has four albums to his name as a solo artist at this point. "United Ubiquity of Flesh" is the most recent of these, and was self released back in 2017.

Analysis. Just where to categorize the music explored on this production remains something of an open question, as there are quite a few possibilities to choose between here. The prominent use of primal, fuzzy electric guitar riffs and guitar textures does make progressive metal a perhaps obvious choice, but the toned down aspects of these guitar details and the loose manner in which they are executed doesn't really stick to a strict metal style of delivery as such. The prominent use of world music elements does give the music here a strong connection to the folk music corner of the progressive rock universe, but as it is the use of tones and timbres rather than a more strict use of folk music melodies makes this choice a bit questionable too. I suspect the best description is to state that this is an album caught somewhere in between progressive folk rock and progressive metal, neither fish nor fowl but contains aspects of both. The greater majority of the compositions revolves around the contrasting features described, with a primal sounding electric guitar providing riffs and solo runs, alternating with and combining with cleaner plucked and flowing patterns and melodies revolving around Middle-Eastern tones and timbres. The compositions will ebb and flow between these, and combine then in different manners, and also alternating between exploring these contrasting features in more flowing and more broken up compositions. Pace and intensity tend to stay inside of a specific range and orientations, with some slight deviations adding a bit of variety to the proceedings. A bit of piano or a careful keyboard presence makes occasional appearances to enhance the arrangements somewhat, and on occasion Saeedi will add in some jazz-oriented details or some subtle nods in the direction of a band like King Crimson and then towards the exploits of Robert Fripp in particular. All of these expansions are more of a secondary seasoning of material rather than defining features, but additions that do expand the boundaries of the landscapes explored nonetheless. The main strength and main weakness of this production is that it mainly revolves around two key elements: The contrast between western and Middle-Eastern traditions in music, with the former being a more rough sounding presence and the latter a more elegant one. The former coming across as much more primitive than it actually is, and the latter coming across as perhaps a bit more sophisticated than what is actually the case. The contrasting features are a bit on the extreme side as such, and it is this stark contrast that creates a fascination when entering these landscapes too. For some this will be a divisive feature, but others will find the use of what might be described as black and white sonic pictures to be quite the enthralling experience. Where I am in the latter department here, especially for the compositions where the drums and the bass line are well developed supporting features too.

Conclusion. Saeedi's fourth solo album "United Ubiquity of Flesh" sees him continue to explore the contrasts between a western style metal sound and a Middle-Eastern oriented folk music expression in an often stark but efficient manner, alternating between these landscapes and combining them in different manners to weave landscapes that contain longing beauty and a more stark primal undercurrent. A primordial presence and ancient beauty and elegance having an album long musical duel with recurring moments of cooperation and collaboration if you like. Not music that will be universally enjoyed, but for some this will be an enthralling excursion into instrumental landscapes with a primordial and exotic nature nonetheless. This is a charming production with solid qualities in my book.

Progmessor: March 2023
The Rating Room

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Salim Ghazi Saeedi


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