Ludwig Dube 12-Dec-2008 Never Wasn't

First autoproduced effort from this Californian band, claiming inspiration from the 9/11 events. Certainly worth a spin for those with a taste for heavy prog and some tolerance towards dramatic vocals. That said, we're not slipping in the prog-metal zone here but the bass/guitar works is definitely on a crunchy mode, the keyboard sound is bright and loud, and the singer's tone evokes at times the drama of some Italians of French singers of the 70's. In a few words, much more of a solid rock affair than a spacy/dreamy or pastoral excursion.

Most of the 13 songs from this eponymous release are quite short - at least according to usual prog "standards" - ranging from 3 to 6 minutes. Don't expect odd time signatures or long instrumental jams : it's an album of well crafted and composed songs. The overall sonic impression suggest a mix between some lightly symphonic rock (think about the rockiest, songiest moments of Yes, Dream Theatre or Rush) and some AOR-Rock. The keyboard sound is mixing some fine organ tones with sporadic occurrences of synth work that brings to mind (more or less) funny moments of 80's synth-pop, which may not fits anyone's taste The guitar/bass interplay is quite solid all along the record although smoother vocal works would best serve the music, as far as I'm concerned.

This album probably won't catch the attention of complex/intricate prog fans, but the production is quite honest and some of the songs have good moments, especially Timeline , and In a blue dream . A nice debut album.

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