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Explosion of Mind: 111

Ova Banchu is the guitarist behind Explosion of Mind, a one man project that released a self-titled debut in 2015 and a subsequent follow up in 2016 titled 111. On the album Banchu plays guitar, bass, drum programming and vocals as well as all special effects. This time we have a two disc set and about one hundred minutes of music. The first disc contains eleven tracks opening with the instrumental "Visions of Nictropia". Heavy bass and layers of guitar with a nifty chord progression puts this one in the realm of heavy prog. "Those Quiet Moments" is much more mellow but still focused on guitar with some pretty cool picking. "Back To Nowhere" features some neat guitar manipulations and echo effects and is the first track to have vocals. Banchu's voice is just okay for me, not bad but not great either. Freaky guitar exploits and some neat studio trickery highlight the twelve minute "Lamentation For Earth". The abrupt change from guitar riffs to studio effects is a bit clumsy but does show some imagination. The returning guitar riffs are quite good. The other epic is the guitar dominated "Angie & I" where the riffs are heavy and offer a relentless six string attack on your senses. The two long songs almost head into avant-garde territory.

Disc two features just one track, the almost fifty-three minute "Chrysta Sorrow Invasion". The intro showcases repeating drone-like effects and guitar, a sort of poor man's version of Pink Floyd. It's okay and quite trippy, just not near as refined as that band. Eventually heavy riffs break out with various change ups centered around the guitar. The transitions are not very smooth but are likely not meant to be. I did feel this one to be a little jarring at times and did get tiresome towards the end. On the plus side this extended piece does show an artist not afraid to experiment with new sounds and to follow his muse through many twisting roads. One thing is for certain, this song is certainly progressive.

While the music is pretty good the album could have benefited from better production and a real drummer although I understand this was likely done on a limited budget and I give Banchu credit for making guitar music off the beaten path. You can listen to some samples by clicking on the link below.

Track Listing:
CD 1
1. Visions Of Nictropia (3:41)
2. Those Quiet Moments (2:50)
3. Back To Nowhere (2:36)
4. Lamentation For Earth (12:10)
5. Don't Underestimate T'Keyah (3:51)
6. Girl's Gotta Go (2:15)
7. Top Boppin' Delight (1:18)
8. Kotess Gender Kare (1:00)
9. Hand Of Christ (5:13)
10. Angie & I (13:03)
11. Alpining The Sorconi (2:13)

CD 2
1. Chrysta Sorrow Invasion (52:50)

Added: February 22nd 2017
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Purchase CD Here
Hits: 1592
Language: english

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