Alchemy Records [Release date 09.09.16]
I must be getting old; from the opening chords of ‘The Bubble Bursts’ the lead track on an album featuring Porcupine Tree bassist and founder member Colin Edwin I was sucked in. Recalling the fusion flavours pioneered by the likes of Mahavishnu, Return To Forever and Gary Boyle’s Isotope, but wholly contemporary and more accessible, this is an instrumental album that takes the listener on a wonderful and sustained sonic journey.
Certainly an album to chill out to, and not one for car changer or PC caddy. Edwin’s bass is authoritative, pneumatic and funky in equal measures whilst Jon Durant (guitars/piano) helps paint the tonal palette along with the solid rhythm work of Vinny Sabatino. This often involves Durant’s broody piano and unison guitar parts such as on ‘More Snow’.
In different times, this album might have been called ‘new age’ and in truth the worst excesses of that genre were glorified aural wallpaper. Burnt Belief bucks this trend for atmosphere, musicianship, and compulsive listening.
The focal point of the album is the title track – ‘Emergent’ – which perfectly demonstrates Durant’s synthesized glissando guitar sounds against the tight and hypnotic rhythms of Edwin/Sabatino and the unison parts sound in places like Jerry Goodman paid them a surprise visit whilst recording. Edwin also lends his programming skills to a track like ‘Ghosts Aquatic’, the perfect coda to an album that excites and excels in equal measure.
All I want to know: I’ve got the joss sticks but can I get this on vinyl? ****
Review by David Randall
David Randall presents ‘Assume The Position’ on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio every Sunday at 22:00 GMT.
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