1. Why did they make this album? What was the passion or message that forced them to produce what they have? Or, simply what was their motivation for the themes they chose for this album?
This is the second instrumental album from this California band.
2. What message are they delivering through their lyrics and music?
1. Devil in Witches’ Hands – Spanish sounding, anthem - like opening on lead guitar with great support of bass and drums. The synthesizer sounds are very unique but will also bring back memories of Keith Emerson’s flights on the keyboards. The guitar melody and bass rhythm is fantastic as they weave patterns throughout the piece, mixing and diving in and out setting a volcanic pace. The ‘really loud noises’ launch and dive with the surrounding drums to create a very good kick off for this album.
2. Bolero – You can’t make a mistake when you go with the classics. But how do you live up to the power and majesty? Very well, thank you. A very Keith Emerson – like synthesizer extravaganza builds here as the thump, thump and pattern of the drums sets the early pace. The bass rattles the floors as the keys begin building, and more and more is then added to the sound as you are now awash in a soundscape of elaborate proportions, and Rich Kallet never misses a beat. Guitar riffs flow in and out as the keyboards roar over the hard wood floors at home. Trumpet like sounds from the keys echo the glorious mid section of this song. Percussion coming in from all sides of the room and some of the best synthesizer work I have heard in a while, surround the room. My favorite by a long shot off this album.
3. Rim Forest – How do you follow that extravaganza? A rock n roll ride on electric guitar. Guitar Hero rock with great support of bass and drums. The keys slide in and out creating more of those ELP – like effects. Great pairing of the keys and guitar keeping this instrumental music very interesting.
4. Mountain Pass Blues – Very nice bass and guitar effects to open this one. Starts out almost jazzy. Nice rhythm builds with heavier bass and those spectacular drums. Almost sax sounding key effects and then those launching guitar solos set against that slow bass backbeat. Nice effect. Piano effects keeping rhythm with the bass and percussion as you go driving down the winding road that loops through the mountains.
5. Chacooonne – Nice acoustic guitar as the keys slowly create harmonic progression. The dramatic violin which enters around the middle of the piece lifts the song and gives the song allot of emotion. The pounding drums and raw guitar riffs that follow along with that whirlwind key effect make this another powerful highlight of the album. The acoustic guitar which closes the song is wonderful.
6. Number Five – The piano opening reminds me of a Dave Brubeck - Take Five moment, but then the lead guitar riffs through and drives the melody as the piano softly supports. The lead guitar solos and instrumentals are fantastic. The soft drums, bass and piano wandering that follows, keeps the sound interesting and constantly changing for the listener. Great background music for anything you might be doing. The bass really takes a lead role towards the end of the piece.
7. After Math – Synth sound effects and noises open this one. The bass takes over with the lead playing back up. The keys and effects roar in and out of the piece as the drums keep pace. The lead rips through the groove and a raw cutting sound launches into the air.
8. Jalapeno Swamp Gas – Drums, synthesizer effects and guitar rip open this cool almost beach - like song. The lead guitar and keys are balanced very well on this mysterious seaside, coast winding road song. The ripping lead guitar riffs really add drama and drive the engine of this song. The keys add so much mystery and emotion.
9. Hard Break – The driving drums that open this one make it another of my favorites on the album. Then those cool ‘80s key effects kick in and more and more music is layered to this second musical extravaganza. Almost a Midnight Express/Moroder effect to the opening. The drums keep a constant heavy beat to the sound. The keys launch out from everywhere spilling the effects all over the floor. The lead guitar soars and adds the final touch to this brilliant production.
10. Violet Sky/Karnival – Soft magical opening before powerful keys roll in, like strong waves to the shore. The bass and guitar slice through the air and provide ominous sounds to enhance the overall effect. A building rhythm of ocean currents and waves with rippling guitars winding their way through the channels. Slow drive rhythm of bass and keys as it slowly streams away from consciousness with nice percussion effects coming from everywhere. The chimes and keys add so much mystery to close this album, leaving the listener wanting more and wondering which direction the band might take in the future.
3. Does this music improve, change, or add to the genre? What does the listener receive from listening to the music?
I am not normally a fan of instrumental music. I need the lyrics and vocals to add to the story and magic of the music. But this band knows how to make instrumental music very interesting. They add allot of variation and keep the pace moving with special effects. They add layers of instruments progressively, keeping the listener wondering what will come next.
4. Does it have longevity? Is it something a fan will like to play again and again?
Yes, this will be a nice soundtrack to many vacation travels and day to day activities.
Rating: 8/10 – Excellent instrumental music, but would be more dynamic with lyrics and vocals added.
Reviewed by Prof on April 6th, 2010