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Palace of Ether

Containing 15 instrumental tracks, the album showcases engaging instrumental Art Rock & Jazz Fusion stylistics in a panorama of shades, being the band's most adventurous recording so far. The centerpiece of this project is the 32-minute title suite, the origins of which can be traced back over 15 years. The initial five tracks of 'Palace of Ether' introduce the listener to a band that has a preference for lively and groovy rhythms, jazzy musical freedom, a lean to improvisation, and has no fear of fusing elements of other genres into their music, such as Funk, Rock & Electronica all led by a guitarist who developed his own style.

So, 'TM' (3:33) opens the album with a funky swing, being driven by a crooked riff sound that recalls Primus. Best of all are 'Spyglass' (4:47) introduced by electronic sounds, and having keyboard arrangements, Fusion guitar solos and also clean jazzy guitars that loosely recall Pat Metheny and Steve Lukather; and 'Pocket' (3:31) - bouncing, funky, and dark - with a peculiar guitar solo in Steve Vai style. Interspersed with those two tracks, the soft 'Illumination' (4:03) runs slow and lazy, as immersed in a tropical climate, having a bit of the Bossa-Nova flavor on keyboards; while 'The Crossing' (3:35) has cool bass and drums, chic pianos, progressive keyboards and a melodic guitar solo.

The following tracks (from 6 to 15) comprise the suite 'Palace of Ether', which gives title to the album: it is a musical journey through different moods, techniques, textures, and styles, congregating influences that range from Mahavishnu Orchestra and Weather Report to Return to Forever, Jadis, King Crimson, and Allan Holdsworth. The echoing 'Many Rooms' (2:48) introduces 'Saints in Stone' (3:25), which alternates Indian music, Oriental violins, and delicate bass arrangements with stronger guitar riffs, reaching the mysterious and ancient places of 'Dream of Antiquity' (4:34), which includes cool Fusion synths - this trio of pieces may appeal to fans of Mahavishnu Orchestra. In a change of ambience, the folky 'Painted Dancer' (1:50) introduces the groovy 'Actors in Armor' (2:56), driven by lively guitars, funky bass, and free improvisational keyboards that ultimately lead to the Progressive Southern Rock 'Before the Idols' (3:51) which contains a solo of piano with dissonances and to the soaring desert song 'Vox of Silence' (2:02). Investing in the Progressive terrains with a sonority that is influenced by King Crimson, the last trio of pieces begin with the psychedelic noises and rumbling cymbals of 'Horsemen At the Gates' (2:13), going through the dreamy & fairish acoustic guitars and elephantine sounds of 'Nightlit Moons' (2:32), until reaching a climax on the Space Rock 'Remembrance' (5:40) driven by fast guitar chords, a Moog-sounding solo, astral sounds, and stoner guitar solos that come in cosmic waves and with a final guitar solo reminiscent of Allan Holdsworth.

-Carlos Alberto Vaz Ferreira, Progressive Rock & Progressive Metal - www.progressiverockbr.com

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