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Frames Of Mind

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Album Review

Electrum is Gino Foti on bass guitar and synthesizer, Dave Kulju on guitar and synthesizer, and Joe Musmanno on acoustic and electronic percussion. Electrum is instrumental, chamber rock, ensemble-type progressive music. This band is barebones in their sound, no flash, rocksteady, with antiseptically clean execution of time signatures. In "Ascension," the keys evoke Larry Fast's Synergy efforts but with a Rush-ish backup band. "Reverie" follows with a drifting, daydreamy, sailing away feel, yet with the infusions of incisive prog rock changeups here and there but staying "on target." Next, "Measure of an Unmade Grave" shows a strong hint of King Crimson and the heavier feel of Rush or perhaps Djam Karet. Guitarist Kulju shies away from overdrive and distortion, remaining crisply "clean" most of the time. Foti stretches some on this track, just as Kulju leaps in with a mighty Fripp-ish explosion that lasts only seconds. Songs are more symphonic movements than individual, distinct entities. Inevitably, you have a "concept" album. The concept, in fact, is Electrum's signature flowing compositions. The feel is adventure soundtrack, interspersed with snippets of guitar in rhythmic, tight grooves and/or rolling picking of open chords. Foti and Kulju are in sync much of the time, until Kulju solos in his usual time-constrained agenda. Electrum is at times like a prog rock machine, a preprogrammed, metronomic automaton, relentless in its course. There may be moments of dissonance or tension, but release is always attained just in time. Foti's basslines are faultless, tight, driving, and relentless. Musmanno maintains steady, even-handed, capable drumming at all times. Imagine Mannheim Steamroller emulating Rush and King Crimson while getting into Larry Fast on the side. Electrum offers quality neo-prog without the rockier sides of prog rock. Some out there will find Frames of Mind just right, but prog rock could use more passion, more "soul-fire" and less crystal-clear precision. ~ John W. Patterson, Rovi

Frames Of Mind, Electrum
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  • $9.99
  • Genres: Rock, Music
  • Released: 1998

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