THE SAMURAI OF PROG

(FINLAND)

ON WE SAIL

(2017)
LABEL:

AUTRE LABEL

GENRE:

PROGRESSIVE ROCK

TAGS:
Epic, Old School, Theatrical
"Samurai Of Prog finally proves its full potential in this album with original compositions."
CALGEPO (04.09.2017)  
4/5
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Samurai Of Prog is one of those bands that strive to pay homage to "old" progressive rock with the means of its time. The solidly-boned combo, made up of the trio Marco Bernard (Colossus), Kimmo Pörsti (Paidarion...) and Steve Unruh (Resistor), to which many prestigious guests are added, has produced a lot of cover albums as well as a first attempt at personal tracks ("The Imperial Hotel" 2014) that is somewhat unbalanced. The penultimate album, mixing covers and original compositions ("Lost And Found" 2016), was cruelly lacking in homogeneity and limpidity. 

Everything in the band transpires the progressive rock of yesteryear, including the extremely elaborate artwork logically representing, as the name of the album presumes, a boat caught in the storm. And this new album is this time 100% Samurai Of Prog. It gathers everything the prog lover can expect, especially the transmission of emotions linked to the stories set to music.

In the not so distant past, the band was often reproached for not building its compositions enough. With this new album, this no longer the case. The tracks are quite long, for the most part exceeding nine minutes, and yet of a beautiful coherence ('Ghost Written' and 'Perfect Black'), to which are opposed five-minute tracks including two "short" instrumental pieces ('Ascension' and the calm 'Over Again'). The link with the 70's is of course very strong, especially in the convoluted architecture of the titles and the use of long layers of keyboards, of voluble flute reminding the Camel period "Snow Goose" and of violin accentuating the marine concept. The high-pitched and inhabited vocals of the various protagonists participates in this enhancement of a style that still has a bright future ahead of it. All this is concretized in the long and superb 'Tigers' which takes up all these particularities with flying colors. 

The interpretation is very good, the sounds used by the numerous guests at the keyboards are well thought out, alternating long slow tracks that take the time to set up the atmosphere and fast piano notes that energize it. The guitar, although discreet, sometimes takes the lion's share in solos that let the feeling and sensitivity go beyond the technical side of the instrument (notably the superb intervention at the end of 'Ghost Written'). As for the production, it is anchored in a very seventies mix as if the album had been recorded live (a bit like The Flower Kings' album 'Desolation Rose').

The frustrating listening of the previous albums showed a great potential for the Samurai Of Prog. The hopes thus founded find in this new album their concretization thanks to tasty compositions and an flawless interpretation.
- Official website
SIMILAR BANDS:
GLASS HAMMER, GENESIS, GENTLE GIANT, ELP, YES

TRACK LISTING:
01. On We Sail
02. Element Of Life
03. Theodora
04. Ascension
05. Ghost Written
06. The Perfect Black
07. Growing Up
08. Over Again
09. Tigers

LINEUP:
Kimmo Pörsti: Batterie
Marco Bernard: Basse
Steve Unruh: Chant / Guitares / Violon, Flute
Brett Kull: Guitares / Invité
Daniel Fäldt: Chant / Invité
David Myers: Claviers / Invité
Jacob Holm-lupo: Guitares / Invité
Jacques Friedmann: Guitares / Invité
Kerry Shacklett : Chant / Guitares / Claviers / Invité
Luca Scherani: Claviers / Invité
Mark Trueack: Chant / Invité
Michelle Young: Chant / Invité
Octavio Stampalia: Claviers / Invité
Roberto Vitelli: Invité / Moog Taurus Pedals
Rùben Alvarez: Guitares / Invité
Sean Timms: Claviers / Invité
Srdjan Brankovic: Guitares / Invité
Stefan Renström: Claviers / Invité / Vocoder
   
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