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OVRFWRD: Fantasy Absent Reason

After impressing with their 2014 Beyond The Visible Light debut, Minnesota's OVRFWRD return with Fantasy Absent Reason, a short album bursting with ideas and a keen sense of purpose. Opening with a seventeen minute title track is a serious statement of intent, but it's the best thing on show and illustrates a sense of melody not often seen in outfits this overtly technical. The four piece of Kyle Lund (bass), Rikki Davenport (drums and percussion), Chris Malmgren (all manner of keyboards) and Mark Ilaug (guitars) bravely do away with the notion of vocals and impressively, for the most part, you barely even register that there isn't someone singing. However when a progressive rock framework is twisted and bent into so many differing shapes and sizes, possibly the reason for this is that there's seldom a moment where the attention drops, nor a section where the music feels like it needs further interpretation.

The exception is "Brother Jack McDuff", where a bluesy sub-par Doors jam simply dum-dum-du-dum-dum-dum's without any real direction or purpose. Which is a shame when you consider that elsewhere "Dust Nova" shows patience and poise to get its spacey, yet not space rock, message across, while "Utopia Planitia" utilises flute and stop start bursts to build a psych tension without ever stepping too far into the unknown. It's a potent formula and one which bares up well to repeat scrutiny, "Creature Comforts" closing the album out, a gentle keyboard-guitar tradeoff allowed to slowly build into a little guitar motif that wouldn't be out of place in Toto's more prog moments, although here the progressive tones are followed through, albeit in considered style.

However there's no getting away from the fact that it's the introductory title cut which keeps you coming back to Fantasy Absent Reason, or that it's really the moment where the obvious potential of this quartet is played out most rewardingly. For an instrumental outfit, OVRFWRD have an awful lot to say and a message that's well worth listening out for. Take the time to engage it and you'll find you agree with pretty much every silent word.

Oh and a special mention is required for the limited edition, custom shape coloured red vinyl, where a serrated edge makes the red disc look like a circular saw as it spins on the record deck! I can only suggest placing the needle on the record with great care!

Track Listing
1. Fantasy Absent Reason
2. Brother Jack McDuff
3. Dust Nova
4. Utopia Planitia
5. Creature Comforts

Added: November 28th 2015
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: OVRFWRD on Facebook
Hits: 1410
Language: english

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