Album review: SECOND RELATION – Eno


Long Branch/SPV [Release date 23.09.16]

Described as “progressive rockers”, this Austrian band are in fact probably difficult to pigeon hole.  The title of the album might also be confusing.  At first I thought it was a new offering  by Eno the ambient trailblazer rather than the title track of the Austrian’s third album (following 2011′s ‘Abiona’).

Evidently lost in translation, but get past the confusion and “Eno” (the album) holds together but may appeal more to those who enjoyed the Swedish band Dirty Loops and even our own Level 42.  Just add in crunchier guitars.

Throughout, there is an undoubtable jazzy and fusion hue as evidenced on the engaging ‘Labyrinth’ with its shifting time signatures and jazzy organ fills whilst ‘White Mirror’ could even be Lee Ritenour in his late-seventies commercial heyday.

‘Familiar Surroundings’ is a good example of the band’s output.  The proggy passages could be Spock’s Beard but always grounded in the jazzy groove.

If Katatonia is now characterised by  Jonas Renkse’s broody vocals adding a distinctive air of melancholia to the proceedings, Bastian Berchold’s  jazzy vocals permeate ‘Second Relation’ and leave an indelible mark.

Apparently the band are influenced by the likes of Riverside although I can’t hear it on this showing except perhaps for the track ‘Rebirth’. If you want that reference point you probably need to return to the previous album.  For the moment, if you like your prog with distinctively jazz/fusion flavours, you’ll need to investigate this.  ***1/2

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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