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Toxic Smile: Farewell

Toxic Smile is a German progressive rock band and have been around for a number of years releasing their debut album M.A.D. in 2000. I first became familiar with the band with my review of their last album 7 in 2013. Their latest disc Farewell was released last year and I have to say it's a great listen. In the band are Larry B. (lead and backing vocals), Marek Arnold (keyboards, saxophone), Uwe Reinholz (guitars), Robert Brenner (bass) and Robert Elsfeldt (drums, percussion, backing vocals). Guests include the Concerto Bellotto Dresden adding violins, violas and cellos and Martin Schnella providing backing vocals..

The album only consists of one track "Farewell" and yes, you read that correctly. Very few bands have the prowess to pull something like this off; Dream Theater, Floyd, Echolyn, Jethro Tull immediately come to mind. The song clocks in at a tidy forty-two plus minutes so it never overstays its welcome.

The piece begins with a lovely violin solo along with serene piano and subtle percussion. It builds slowly before heavier guitar riffs enter adding an element of catchiness. Larry B. has a rather gruff voice at times but his lines are still very melodic. It might take a while to get used to some of his vocal parts but this shouldn't be a problem as he does a great job overall. That said, the emphasis is on the instrumental interplay and it is outstanding. The band easily traverses a number of styles incorporating jazz, funk, space and psychedelia into their unique brand of heavy symphonic rock. There are many twists and turns here that should appeal to those who appreciate adventurous and eclectic prog while still maintaining a strong melodic sensibility.

Really stunning stuff from one of the better bands to come out of Germany. If you enjoy the music of Echolyn, Sylvan and other related bands I urge you to give Toxic Smile a try. You will be in for a real treat.

Released on Progressive Promotions Records.

Track Listing:
1. Farewell (42:12)

Added: June 5th 2016
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Band's Official Site
Hits: 1118
Language: english

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