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Progression: Noxologic

The roots of Finnish progressive jazz fusion band Progression date all the way back to 1976 in Jalasjärvi, Finland. The band made one demo, got a few gigs together but the project eventually fizzled out and the musicians went their separate ways. Fast forward a few decades later and their first proper release The Dream of Cecilia in 2007. The band started working on a second album but a subsequent release never happened until some new blood joined the band in the form of Kimmo Pörsti (drums and percussion), Jan-Olaf Strandberg (bass) and Otso Pakarinen (keyboards and synthesizers, electric guitars on "Hobbit Hall"). Rounding out the band are Harri Nokso (electric guitars), Jaan Jaanson (electric guitars) and Jussi-Matti Haavisto (viola). The new songs were in various stages of production but just needed that finishing touch to get them shelf ready. Not all the songs were used so a few live bonus tracks were added to round out the album and Noxologic finally came to fruition.

The band's influences, like Mahavishnu Orchestra and John McLaughlin can be heard throughout the album. The guitar work and heavy use of viola are a huge part of their sound that is so firmly rooted in the '70s. The guitar work varies from clean crisp notes to more distorted tones with tasteful soloing throughout often intertwined with viola and Pakarinen's keyboards. Strandberg's snaking bass lines and Pörsti's drum work form the backbone upon which their fusion sounds are expanded upon. Great drumming and tricky fills highlight the fusion sound of the album opening "Kickstarter". A ripping guitar solo leads to floating keyboards and excellent work on the viola. This is instrumental prowess at its finest. The bass lines throughout "Not Groove" are really awesome accenting the slightly mellower mood. The band interplay in "Hobbit Hall" including muted guitar and wonderful synths offers more great highlights. Undercurrents of Middle Eastern motifs can be heard in the slowly building "Asia" while the title track features more fantastic guitar work and stellar musicianship without losing their melodic sensibilities.

The disc ends with four bonus live tracks that further demonstrates just how tight and cohesive this band is in a live setting. Haavisto's ripping viola solo in "Gangsta Race" is one of the many highlights.

I don't think progressive fusion fans can go wrong with Noxologic. Another highly recommended and quality release from our friends at Seacrest Oy.

Track Listing:
1. Kickstarter (4:06)
2. Not Groove (2:46)
3. Hobbit Hall (4:00)
4. Asia (6:31)
5. Noxologic (4:25)
6. Tandoor (3:04)
7. The Arcosanti Pork Ritual (5:20)
Bonus Live Tracks:
8. Gangsta Race (4:52)
9. Bright Light From High (8:18)
10. Wild Night At Tall Jack's (5:16)
11. The Dream Of Cecilia (6:38)

Added: April 9th 2017
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Label's Official Site
Hits: 1436
Language: english

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