Though its title may indicate that we're dealing with a cross between classical music and Kotebel's usual style of instrumental progressive rock, Concerto For Piano and Electric Ensemble is much more than what you may initially expect. Rather than tacking classically influenced piano sections onto their already solid sound, Kotebel manages to masterfully integrate this new dimension into their approach in a coherent and delightful manner. Concerto For Piano and Electric Ensemble sounds very much like a Kotebel album in almost every way - those who enjoyed the zany avant-garde madness and lush symphonic soundscapes on albums like 2009's Ouroboros should not expect anything radically different this time around. Rather, Kotebel expanded even further upon their already eclectic sound, resulting in an excellent example of a band that manages to successfully evolve while still staying true to their core sound.
Kotebel is a Spanish progressive rock band, and although they've only been brought to my attention recently, I've taken quite a liking to their unique approach to modern prog. Concerto For Piano and Electric Ensemble is a fully instrumental album that, for the most part, stays true to the progressive rock pioneers of the seventies' - with that said, however, Kotebel blends the ideas of so many old school prog bands into one coherent mix that they sound totally unique. Acts like Emerson, Lake, & Palmer, Frank Zappa, Renaissance, Le Orme, Gentle Giant, and King Crimson are referenced quite a bit throughout the course of this lengthy observation, but Kotebel never sounds particularly like any other single band. They are their own beast, and on Concerto For Piano and Electric Ensemble this is more true than ever before. Adding in numerous classical piano bits over their intriguing mix of symphonic prog, avant-garde, and jazz fusion makes for one hell of a listen in my opinion!
This is simply a stunning tour-de-force of impeccable musicianship, clever arrangements, and well-composed instrumental progressive rock, and I'd highly recommend that all fans of eclectic prog check out Concerto For Piano and Electric Ensemble. Although it will probably take a few listens to sink in due to the decidedly inaccessible nature of these lengthy and complex compositions, the gorgeous melodies and stunning displays of high-quality musicianship make this album well-worth the price of admission. If you haven't listened to Kotebel yet, Concerto For Piano and Electric Ensemble is not a bad place to start!
1. Concerto For Piano And Electric Ensemble (42:59)
I. Adagio Maestoso (12:03)
II. Lento Cantabile (7:13)
III. Vivo Scherzando (9:22)
IV. Allegro Moderato (14:21)
2. The Flight Of The Hipogriff (Part 1) (4:53)
3. Dance Of Shiva (6:58)
4. The Flight Of The Hipogriff (Part 2) (4:35)
5. The Infant [bonus track] (7:12)