Floating Islands is the second release from Italian space rock act Jalayan, an exciting collection of instrumental tracks put together by Alessio Malatesta (keyboards), Vincenzo Calvano (guitar), Martino Malacrida (drums), and Matteo Prina (drums). Comparisons to Ozric Tentacles and Quantum Fantay are sure to pop up for most folks, as the formula follows similar paths, though Jalayan seems to throw more firepower on the guitar front than those two bands. Check out the brash, metallic riffing on tracks like "Nemesis" and "Tilmun", two rousing heavy hitters that kick off the album in fine style, Calvano firing off plenty of crunch and blazing solos alongside Malatesta's spacey synths. Alessio takes center stage on the futuristic sounding "Edination" as well as the dreamy "Star Stairs", while his cosmic synths and sequences on "Fire of Lanka" allow Vincenzo plenty of space to fire off some face melting solos that blaze across the depths of the galaxy. While all this is going on, the rhythm team of Malacrida & Prina do a masterful job of keeping everything in check. Closer "Shem Temple" is the album's longest track at just under 7-minutes, and contains some Middle Eastern themes, loads of bubbling synths, and some tasty guitar soloing.
Those craving masterful instrumental space rock would be well advised to check out Floating Islands, easily one of the best releases of this type I've heard all year.
Star Stairs 05:47
Fire of Lanka 05:07
Colliding Orbits 05:00
Shem Temple 06:56