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Parallel Mind: Colossus ADEA

Instrumental progressive rock has come a long way in recent years. Rather than showing off their virtuoso skills with self-indulgent nonsense, bands such as the dark and metallic Kopecky, the avant-rock/chamber-orchestra outfit Far Corner and now Parallel Mind, an eclectic trio that eschews guitar for trumpet, flugelhorn and cello are creating mesmerizing sounds that should have fans of lyric-free music rejoicing. These artists explore the genre's hidden passageways and unearth some highly listenable material.

Not surprisingly, bassist William Kopecky is involved in all three projects. The latest is Chicago's Parallel Mind, in which Kopecky's emotive and melodic styling on the six-string bass often substitutes for a guitar. Gloriously complex and challenging, Colossus ADEA, the band's debut, reveals itself in layers. Opener "Chromanic" takes more than 14 minutes to work its way through Kopecky's alternately light and dark bass lines, Nibandh Nadkarni's peppy keys and Joe Babiak's taut rhythms - all punctuated by Babiak's trumpet and flugelhorn excursions and a screaming guitar solo courtesy of guest axe man Saar Schnitman. At its most frantic moments, the song feels like the soundtrack to an action film based on a comic-book character (and I mean that in a good way).

Elsewhere, "Opposite of Know" opens with a lovely piano and cello duet that gradually gets faster, more elaborate, more delightful and definitely more proggy (thanks to Moog & Hammond sounds galore). "Casa de Jig" relies on Celtic influences, as well as mandolin and violin, while the epic-yet-pensive four-part title track revisits heavy prog territory, flirts with traditional jazz and features choirs that once again echo film scores. Closer "Beginning's End" claims the distinction of being both heavier and lighter - not to mention more symphonic, quirky, beautiful and wistful - than anything else on this record of solid songs.

Worth noting: Trevor Sadler (Rush, Tony Levin, Fate's Warning) crisply mastered Colossus ADEA to allow this music the breathing space it deserves.

Track Listing:
1) Chromanic
2) Opposite of Know

Colossus ADEA
3)The Guardian
4) Into the Depths
5) Underwater Cities
6) Resurface Earth

7) Casa de Jig
8) Beginning's End

Added: June 21st 2005
Reviewer: Michael Popke
Related Link: Official Parallel Mind Web Site
Hits: 3575
Language: english

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Parallel Mind: Colossus ADEA
Posted by Pete Pardo, SoT Staff Writer on 2005-06-21 21:47:52
My Score:

Unicorn Digital has been consistently releasing solid progressive fusion albums from up and coming International bands over the last few years, and Parallel Mind are no exception. Bassist William Kopecky should be no stranger to the prog audience, and he is joined here by star keyboard player Nibandh Nadkarni, and drummer/horn player Joe Babiak, as well as a host of guest musicians on guitar, cello, mandolin, violin, and vocals. Much of the material on the CD is upbeat with a strong jazz feel, like on the intricate opener "Chromatic", a near 15-minute piece that has plenty of funky grooves, organ, trumpet, and guitar solos that give it a strong 70's fusion feel. Other tracks have an organic prog feel, utilizing stringed instruments and acoustic piano, but the rhythms of Kopecky and Babiak always keep the music grounded in the fusion camp for the most part. Kopecky's bass playing is nothing short of marvelous here, as complex as it is groove laden, especially on "Opposite of Know", a real fun piece. Nadkarni manages to hit the listener with all sorts of styles and textures on his various array of keyboards, and shifts nicely from acoustic piano, to organ, to synth, to gorgeous electric piano textures. The four-part title track is breathtaking, especially the section titled "Resurface Earth", which mixes influences from American acts like Kansas, Dixie Dregs, Echolyn, and Glass Hammer. It all culminates with the closing epic "Beginning's End", a red-hot keyboard drenched barnburner that will easily appeal to fans of the Japanese bands like Kenso, Gerard, and Ars Nova. Nadkarni unleashes some truly monstrous sounds on this one, supported by the complex rhythms of Kopecky and Babiak. It's a great finale to a great album. Let's get these guys together for a tour or a stop on the festival circuit already!

2004 Sea Of Tranquility
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