Wednesday, April 12, 2006

The Atropos Project - The Conflict (Remixed)

Hear The Track Here

There are certain words in the English language that are almost garanteed to make me feel ill, two of them are 'progressive' and 'rock', especially when they appear together. As you may have gathered, The Atropos Project ploughs that particular furrow and - at the risk of sounding increasingly redundant - this is not a musical area that makes me happy. Nonetheless, I got it, so I'll continue with it. The Atropos Project is a new name to me and is a one man studio band who has gathered some interesting reviews over the past few months from people such as John Paul Carroll (aka Fluidity) and Steve Smith both of whose taste I respect.

However, as always, I'll make up my own mind so let's get down to it...

Mind you my extreme reaction to progressive rock has been muted lately by listening to the wonders of Sylvan & Bonamici, Thielus Grenon and (last month) the excellent One For The Vine so maybe there is hope for me yet. The Conflict is more old skool prog rock than any of the artists I mention above and - to my ears anyway - that doesn't do it any favours, especially not when the majority of SC 'listeners' happen to be other musicians. There's a noodle-y quality about this track that worries me, you know that kind of lead playing that just goes on and on and on... Even further plays didn't really help to alleviate the depressing feeling this brought on. I mean the playing is excellent and without any serious misjudgements but the overriding impression was still an unqualified 'so what?'

On the plus side, it's blindingly obvious that TAP is an excellently fluid, organised musician of considerable skill and that, I suppose, it what counts with music of this type. At just over four minutes it isn't as overblown as some of these peices tend to be and if the names Kansas, Styx and other well known US propagators of this genre strike you as being a 'good thing' then you may well just love this track to bits. Even for me, I did enjoy listening to this from a musicians point of view because ALL the playing was extremely fluid, excellently tailored and - dare I say this? - beautifully produced. To be sure, I will be looking at some further works from this artist even though I have spilled my venomous bile all over the genre yet again. It's not his fault he chose the one genre in the world that raises my hackles more than any other...

Excellent prog rock, just not really to my own taste.

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