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Project: Patchwork: Re|Flection

Project: Patchwork is the creation of German musicians Gerd Albers and Peter Koll. Three years back I reviewed their debut album Tales From A Hidden Dream which I liked very much. The band is back with their sophomore effort Re|Flection and I have to say the results are magnificent. The project continues to invite many guests; ten vocalists and twenty musicians this time around so you can well imagine the talent involved here. The long list of musicians include Marek Arnold (Seven Steps To The Green Door, Samurai Of Prog, Cyril, United Progressive Fraternity), Martin Schnella (Flaming Row), Markus Steffen (Subsignal), Stephan Pankow, Larry Brödel (Toxic Smile) and John Mitchell (Frost, It Bites, Arena, Cinema) to name but a few.

The band continues its form of artful progressive rock, very catchy yet complex enough to challenge those who dig those twisting turning roads that is so reflective (pun intended) of progressive minded music. The vocalists also excel, so you really have a great group of artists at the top of their game. The short “(P)Reflections” begins the disc with narrative vocals, acoustic guitar and moody keyboards. There is a thread of solemnity at work, quite somber and totally mesmerizing. A static drenched beginning marks “Struggle And Agony”, with the music slightly muted before breaking out into heavy progressive rock. Many twists and turns ensue, from folky acoustic guitar motifs to heavy bombast, culminating with John Mitchell’s excellent guitar work. His solo is a must hear and an album highlight. And speaking of highlights, the next track “Yearning For Confraternity” boasts another excellent guitar solo, this time courtesy of Markus Steffen. The track also features gorgeous piano, fast paced electronics, a great vocal arrangement and a catchiness that is hard to ignore. A bit soft and a bit heavy, “Worried Citizens” is another great track with catchy vocals and delightful acoustic and electric guitar. The unexpected sax breaks are as tasty as it gets. The sax in the gentle ballad “Fear Of Loss” is again very nice as are the emotive Gabriel-ish vocals and the supple guitar. There are six more tracks, all noteworthy in their own right.

Re|flection will certainly rank high on my ‘best of’ list at the end of the year. An excellent progressive rock album and easily recommended.

Track Listing:
1. (P)Reflections (2:08)
2. Struggle And Glory (8:09)
3. Yearning For Confraternity (7:03)
4. Worried Citizens (9:21)
5. Fear Of Loss (6:16)
6. Fist Disorder (7:21)
7. Inferno (6:05)
8. Last Horizon (3:22)
9. Of Sheeps And Wolves (9:28)
10. A Winter’s Tale (9:54)
11. Reflection (2:57)

Added: November 3rd 2018
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Band's Official Site
Hits: 552
Language: english

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