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Fusion Orchestra 2: Casting Shadows

"Fusion Orchestra 2 is the second incarnation of the critically acclaimed progressive rock band Fusion Orchestra", from the early 1970s. The original band earned their licks from an extensive touring schedule during 1969 1975. "Their EMI album Skeleton in Armour is still a much sought after album in its original vinyl form". "The band was co-formed by original Fusion Orchestra guitarist and founding member Colin Dawson, and keyboard player Ben Bell". Casting Shadows is their latest album released in 2013. "This new incantation includes Elsie Lovelock on lead vocal, Shemeck Fraczek on basses, and Seex Dyer on drums".

This is an excellent album steeped in the traditions of progressive rock and jazz music performed during the 1970s. The album is really three long tracks with four great opening and closing instrumental tracks in between.

"Don't Forget Your Key" is a short keyboard instrumental opening that fills the air with keys.

"Leaving it all Behind" is a 14:15 minute showcase for Ben Bell's keyboards. However, Elsie Lovelock sings the 'determined to start over fresh' story lines full of emotion. The guitar riffs will remind you of Carlos Santana's early work. The keyboards took me back to some of Saga's early highlights. An excellent journey for sure.

"Cider Sue" brings out the jazz edge the band possesses. Lovelock sings, "Do da bop bop do da bop sing my song", adding her unique style to the song. The guitars, bass, drums and keys support her well. Bell's keyboard work with Mellotron echos and sounds will take you back to memories of the past during the over ten minute trip. The guitar soloing from Colin Dawson on the second half of the track will remind you of many of your favorite progressive guitarists of the past.

"Secret Shadow" is my favorite track on the album. It is full of powerful bass, solid lead guitar and out of this world keyboard work. Lovelock's vocals are solid, but this is definitely a keyboard and guitar driven track full of imagery.

This is a solid album delivered with spectacular sound. If you want to hear something new with definite influences from the past, then Fusion Orchestra 2's Casting Shadows is a fun and interesting journey to take.

Track Listing:

1. Don't Forget Your Key (Bell/Dawson)
2. Leaving It All Behind (Bell/Dawson)
3. Troubled Dreams and Fairy Queens (Bell)
4. Cider Sue (Bell/Dawson/Hollands)
5. See What We Left Behind (Bell/Dawson)
6. Secret Shadow (Bell/Dawson/Hollands)
7. Unseen, Unheard, Unfinished (Bell)

Added: April 21st 2014
Reviewer: Mark Johnson
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Hits: 2203
Language: english

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