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Pymlico: Directions

Classic retro symphonic progressive rock is alive and well with bands like Pymlico making music. The Norwegian project, led by founder Arild BrÝter (drums, keyboards and guitar) released their debut Inspirations in 2011. If their follow up album Directions is anything like their first I need to hear it pronto as I have enjoyed the new album immensely.

The influences range from King Crimson to Camel to Pink Floyd so you can imagine there is a strong '70s bent to the music. Some might say this is derivative but I think Pymlico add enough of their own vision to forge their own path and provide a few modern twists and turns. This is intelligently played instrumental progressive rock that will have old school prog fans licking their chops and while the musicianship is excellent it is not at the expense of melody and song structure.

Right from the start of the first track "Compliments Of Sharkey" I was hooked. From majestic keyboard drenched sections to heavier parts with stabbing guitar and swells of organ, this is progressive rock the way it was meant to be played.

In the fourteen minute epic "Heroes" keyboards percolate against a backdrop of acoustic guitar recalling a hint of Camel, making for a majestic and thoughtful intro. The electric guitar work has a touch of Latimer and Gilmour and a multitude of keyboard sounds ensures the listener is in for a varied and interesting journey.

"The Little Grey Cells" features some nice guitar crunch and interesting keyboard parts before changing into an ethereal and moody piece complete with gorgeously played alto saxophone.

One of my favourite tracks is the spacey "R.W." harkening back to "Echoes"-era Pink Floyd. Layers of textural keys, a wistful piano melody and Gilmouresque lead guitar makes for a complete prog filled package.

The space vibe continues with the Floyd inspired "2280", with one section bearing some resemblance to "On The Run" from Dark Side Of The Moon.

"Regulus" ends the album in fine style venturing from faster paced progressive rock to grandiose symphonic passages brimming with a pastoral elegance. It's a fitting ending to what is a fabulous album.

Directions is one of the best albums I have heard so far this year and should have the staying power to make it on many best of lists come year's end. Highly recommended!

Track Listing:
1. Compliments Of Sharkey (4:57)
2. Heroes (14:01)
3. The Little Grey Cells (6:11)
4. R.W. (6:24)
5. 2280 (6:35)
6. Regulus (18:11)

Added: June 10th 2013
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Project's Official Site
Hits: 2681
Language: english

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