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Samurai Of Prog, The: Lost And Found

The Samurai Of Prog is a multinational project led by Marco Bernard (Rickenbacker basses, project coordinator), Steve Unruh (vocals, violin, flute) and Kimmo Pörsti (drums and percussion). For many years Bernard has been involved with Colossus Magazine and their associated theme based multi disc sets, which are excellent by the way. Knowing the quality of the Colossus series I was excited to review The Imperial Hotel in 2014. It is great to see the band back with a new record titled Lost And Found, a massive two CD set that has the threesome working with musicians of the bands Pavlov's Dog, Lift, Cathedral, Odyssey and Quill, dusting off some of their '70s material and breathing new life into these long lost compositions. It's a great idea for an album and it totally works.

If you enjoy vintage sounding '70s progressive rock this is an album for you. The instrumental "Preludin" starts the set in fine fashion with jaunty rhythms of violin and flute. I hear a bit of Jethro Tull and Kansas and the instrumentation is really catchy. It is quite a complex piece with all musicians exceling at their craft. "Along The Way" is a short tune with a lovely piano melody that is really quite emotive. "Inception" is a twenty minute epic showcasing the best of what this band has to offer. Spacey synths, raging organ, sweet guitar parts, changes in tempo, nice builds and various twists and turns should keep any fan of progressive music fully engaged. Flute and violin are also very much present adding an organic component to the band's complex sound. The vocals are also excellent, very catchy with a Gabriel-like vibe or even IQ-ish at times.

The second disc is composed of just one piece, the fifty-seven minute "The Demise". It is a breathtaking piece of music that fully captures what is/was so special about '70s progressive rock. The tune was originally penned by Quill who were heavily influenced by ELP and this can certainly be heard here. The thirty-six part effort features outstanding keyboards and synths, startling crescendos, soaring guitars and pretty much anything else you can think of. The narration of Richard Maddocks begins the concept piece before flute and violin begin a musical journey where anything might happen. The song veers in so many different directions yet is an amazingly cohesive piece. Some nice sax work courtesy of Linus Kåse is also a welcome addition.

The Samurai Of Prog will appeal to fans of classic '70s progressive rock like King Crimson, Yes, Gentle Giant and the aforementioned ELP. Really, what's not to like? Lost And Found is quite simply a fantastic album that will be treasured by this reviewer for many years to come.

Track Listing:
CD 1
1. Preludin (7:38)
2. Along The Way (2:22)
3. Inception (20:02)
4. She (Who Must Be Obeyed) (12:11)
5. Plight Of The Swan (10:33)
CD 2
1. The Demise (57:18)

Added: July 2nd 2016
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Band's Official Site
Hits: 1919
Language: english

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