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Larsson, Lalle: Nightscapes

Music is the great universal language and can speak to the listener in so many ways. Sometimes virtuosic music can leave the listener a little cold, especially if one feels a lack of emotion in the playing. You know the story, bands like Dream Theater being lambasted for only bringing the chops and little else. In my listening there is room for both feel and complexity and offering some of each is Lalle Larsson's Weaveworld trilogy. Nightscapes was released in 2012 and is the last in the series, following up his self-titled release in 2009 and 2010's Infinity of Worlds.

Of course, many of you will know Larsson (acoustic and electric keyboards) from his other bands; Karmakanic, Agents Of Mercy, 3rd World Electric and Electrocution 250. Although the rest of the band may not be as well-known they are of no lesser talent and include Richard Hallebeek (acoustic and electric guitars), Stefan Rosqvist (guitar), Jonas Reingold (bass) and Walle Wahlgren (drums).

This is one of the most virtuosic instrumental progressive rock albums I have heard in an awfully long time. These musicians are master craftsman and can play with the best of them. The band combines progressive rock with jazz fusion and the results are invigorating. The album begins with the up tempo "Insomnia" mixing progressive metal and jazz rock. You will hear excellent shredding guitar solos, trippy synths and keys, angular guitar riffs and an excellent bass solo from Reingold. "A Dream of a Thousand Weaves" changes from a breakneck pace laced with fantastic guitar and keyboard solos into a slower piano led section revealing some lovely moods. The change ups come often as Larsson and the band play with a technical precision but also add some lovely melodies. The pretty piano intro in "Rainbow's Gold" is a nice change of pace from the relentless pace thus far although some almost doom style guitar riffs do enter the picture eventually. The most ambitious track is the twenty-four minute "Nightscapes Suite" showcasing fantastic musicianship. Ethereal and brooding keyboard laden soundscapes, discordant guitar structures, progressive metal riffage and lightning fast solos will keep your head spinning for days. The album ends with the gentler piano led "Dawn Sheds a Final Tear" although the last minute is quite intense as the orchestral elements build to a climax.Anyone who enjoys instrumental progressive rock and jazz fusion will want to wrap their ears around this one. A true sonic delight.

Released on Reingold Records.

Track Listing:
1. Insomnia
2. A Dream of a Thousand Weaves
3. Rainbow's Gold
4. Zero Hour
5. Nocturne
6. Nightscapes Suite
7. Dawn Sheds a Final Tear

Added: December 19th 2015
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Label's Official Site
Hits: 1441
Language: english

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