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Fractal Mirror: Garden of Ghosts

Fractal Mirror is an art rock band from Amsterdam. The roots of the band go all the way back to the '80s. They released their first album Strange Attractions in 2013. Garden of Ghosts is their sophomore effort.

The band is Leo Koperdraat (keyboards, guitars, vocals), Ed van Haagan (bass guitar, keyboards, sound enhancements) and Frank Urbaniak (drums, percussion) as well as a few special guests including Larry Fast (keys), Don Fast (sitar, guitar) and Jacque Varsalona (vocals). The album was produced and mixed by Echolyn's Brett Kull. Kull also provides acoustic and electric guitars throughout the album.

Let's be clear. This is far from a full out progressive rock release. The music here is artfully done pop and rock, sometimes brooding and always melodic. At times I was reminded of Porcupine Tree's Lightbulb Sun. This is so well executed it is easy to see why Brett Kull became involved.

The album begins with the extremely tasty "House of Wishes" with the keyboards and guitar providing sonic textures instead of ultra-fast soloing. This is a song based album so do not expect extended improvised jams and jaw dropping solos. This album isn't about that. What you will hear are excellent lead vocals, first rate musicianship, proggy atmospherics and addictive melodies. "The Phoenix" is a case in point. There are some darker accents here with Bowie-esque lead vocals and a late '90s Porcupine Tree feel. "Lost in Clouds" has another great melody with floating synths and keys, nice slide guitar and sublime vocals. Mellotron is also quite noticeable as it is the perfect accent to the band's lush sound. "The Hive" is another melodic gem with moody guitar textures and a new wave sound.

One of the best tracks is the mellow "Orbital View", a tasty concoction of drifting keyboards, plush Mellotron and laid back vocals. The artful "Event Horizon" is another fine ballad that hints of The Psychedelic Furs, especially Koperdraat's vocals.

Garden of Ghosts is a wonderful album of moody art rock that should garner plenty of attention in prog rock circles. Larry Fast obviously sees their potential and signed them to his Third Contact label. I highly recommend you check them out.

Track Listing:
1. House of Wishes
2. The Phoenix
3. Lost in Clouds
4. Solar Flare
5. The Hive
6. Solar Flare Reprise
7. The Garden
8. Orbital View
9. Event Horizon
10. Legacy
11. Stars

Added: January 3rd 2015
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Band's Official Site
Hits: 1710
Language: english

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