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(51:54; Yuval Ron)
It has been way too long since the last full album from guitarist/vocalist Yuval Ron, in fact it is as long ago as 2009, and here he is back with a new band although bassist Roberto Badoglio did actually play on his 2013 single release “Flags”, so he has been involved for a while. The other musicians are Matt Paull on keyboards and none other than Marco Minnemann on drums. The result is yet another romp through progressive tinged jazz rock, with the emphasis strongly on the lead guitar and while Paull provides a strong supporting role the ears are often drawn to the rhythm section who are both simply stunning. I assume that Marco and Roberto hadn’t played together prior to this, and it was a session gig for Marco, but it certainly doesn’t seem like it as they sound as if they have been playing together for years. Marco is obviously well-known as one of the finest drummers around, and here is more than matched by Roberto who has an incredible touch on electric bass where he shows many different types of techniques and sounds, hitting chords when the time is right and providing superb counter melodies and harmonies to Yuval himself. One must mention the way Yuval has mixed and mastered this album, as instruments are given just the right amount of room within the overall sound so that it is never a case that one instrument is way over the others. Indeed, there are times when his guitar is obviously taking the lead role but it is has been placed just behind the drums and bass so while it is making an impact the ears are being drawn into different directions. Sonically this is a really interesting album, and one is easily drawn into a complex and complicated role where the musicians are really busting their chops and producing something which is always interesting, always driving forward. If one wants to understand Yuval’s main influence then one needs to look no further than the dedication which appears against one song, namely to the mighty Allan Holdsworth. Yuval does employ similar techniques and sounds at times, especially from the more experimental works of Holdsworth, yet the album is always incredibly interesting and intriguing, yet also compelling and accessible. One can only hope that it isn’t more than a decade until the next album from Yuval Ron, as this is a delight and essential to anyone who enjoys enjoyable guitar-driven progressive fusion.
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