Unlike some other forms of music these days, there is still some great progressive fusion being released lately. Case in point the sophomore CD from Spaced Out. Taking their influences from such diverse bands as UK, Brand X, Return to Forever, Weather Report, and Tribal Tech, this foursome from Canada throw sizzling chops and melody together for a lethal brew of modern instrumental rock.
If you like serious chops, then be prepared for an onslaught. Guitarist Louis Cote is a monster player, squarely in the Allan Holdsworth/Scott Henderson/Frank Gambale mold. His repertoire includes flashy sweep picking, crazy whammy bar excursions, and passionate melodic flights of fancy. Equally as impressive is the gymnastic bass playing of Antoine Fafard, who sounds like Stu Hamm on steroids. These two add all sorts of instrumental lunacy to "The Lost Train", a rousing number that has so much going it will leave your head spinning. The synergy between the guitar and keyboards, and the bass and drums, is simply unbelievable at times, yet the band throws in just enough melody to keep things in check. On certain ocassions the band goes to almost Magma-like territory, but then comes down to earth briefly before taking off for the stratosphere once again. Funk is mixed with rock, prog meets metal, and jazz combines with Zeuhl on tracks like "Jamosphere" and "Infinite Ammo", which are some of the reasons that makes this CD so varied and enjoyable.
Eponymus II is a clear winner all around for Spaced Out, and a CD that I can highly recommended to those who enjoy the instrumental side of progressive rock.